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Who Was the Best Huckleberry? PAGE 40

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APRIL 2017

Measure yourself on a much larger scale. Wh e re d o y ou s t a n d on a d v e nt u re ? He re i n Wy om i n g , it re a c h e s e pi c proportions. Like the challenge of scaling the iconic columns of D e v i l s Tow e r. S om e 8 5 s t or i e s of my s t e r i ou s l y f or m e d i g n e ou s ro c k t h at s e e m t o b e a s k i n g , w h at a r e y o u m a d e o f ? // Devils Tower National Monument




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See Sam Ross Some Klondike Gold Rush prospectors in the Yukon Territory of Canada found their riches in the fur trade. “See Sam Ross. He Buys Sells Everything” and “Special Attention Paid to Furs” signs flank Sam Ross’s trading post on the corner of Dugas Street in Dawson City, circa 1900, attracting these trappers and their trusty dog sled team. – Courtesy Library of Congress –

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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 SENIOR EDITOR: Stuart Rosebrook FEATURES EDITOR: Mark Boardman EDITORIAL TEAM 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 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 Boessenecker, Johnny D. Boggs, Drew Gomber, Kevin Kibsey, Dr. Jim Kornberg, Sherry Monahan, Candy Moulton, Frederick Nolan, Gary Roberts, Marshall Trimble, Ken Western, Larry Winget, Linda Wommack ARCHIVIST/PROOFREADER: Ron Frieling PUBLISHER EMERITUS: Robert G. McCubbin TRUE WEST FOUNDER: Joe Austell Small (1914-1994)

True West Online

April 2017 Online and Social Media Content

DOWNLOAD THE AUDIO VERSION OF THIS ISSUE TODAY! Listen to this issue with True West’s Magazine’s new audio version. Go to to download and listen to your favorite issues.


ADVERTISING/BUSINESS 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: Christine Lake April 2017, Vol. 64, #4, Whole #567. 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.



Join the Conversation “Wow, what a headache. I had to read this article twice, just so I could wrap my head around Facts or Fiction. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of any possible child fathered by Billy the Kid. Interesting indeed, and a good read. I don’t know...but I want to know!” - Richie Ford of Louisville, Kentucky

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 2017 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. Any unsolicited manuscripts, proposals, query letters, research, images or other documents that we receive will not be returned, and True West Publishing is not responsible for any materials submitted.


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APRIL 2017 • VOLUME 64 • ISSUE 4


WHEN DOC MET WYATT One of the dirtiest outlaws in the entire West brings together one of the frontier’s most deadliest of friends. —By Tom Clavin


WHO WAS THE BEST HUCKLEBERRY? One Doc Holliday actor stands above the rest. —By Mary Doria Russell



ROAD TO GOLD & REDEMPTION Thousands, including President Donald Trump’s grandfather, headed north to escape economic troubles in the Old West’s last great gold rush. —By Mike Coppock



THE BIRTH OF A WICKED SON REIMAGINED Pinpoints deadly gunfighter John Wesley Hardin’s true birthplace—still in Texas, but where? —By Norman Wayne Brown


FINDING THE GREAT CANYON ON THE GILA RIVER Unravels the mystery behind Seth Eastman’s watercolor from the first U.S.-Mexico Boundary Survey. —By Tom Jonas



CHARGE INTO THE OLD WEST! History and heroes await your arrival on these grand travel adventures into our glorious past. —By Stuart Rosebrook



104 ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH —By Kellen Cutsforth


119 ROOSEVELT’S BADLANDS —By Michael F. Blake

128 CAVALRY, COWBOYS AND INDIANS Val Kilmer still from Tombstone courtesy Buena Vista Pictures; cover design by Dan Harshberger

—By Mark Bedor



AFGHAN LIT I have been an avid reader of True West for about the last four years. True West contributor Terry A. Del Bene and I go back many years. Because of True West, I was able to reconnect with him, so thank you. I thought you all might get a kick out of knowing the magazine is being read here in Afghanistan. I am retired Air Force. I only retired to become a Department of the Air Force Historian (my home station is Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska). As the historian, I have the opportunity to record contemporary history, and I often can draw on the parallels of a true west of the past and this land. I have spent the majority of my Air Force career in the West...from Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Anchorage, Alaska, and beyond. True West takes me back with writing that is enjoyable and well researched. Thank you for giving historians and readers alike a quality product. Jack G. Waid USAF, Afghanistan

JAMES YOUNG GETS HIS TOMBSTONE On January 16, in Tucson, an unsung Arizona pioneer finally got his day in the sun. Thanks goes to John Langellier, who found James Young’s unmarked grave in Holy Hope Cemetery and worked tirelessly to convince all of us at True West to help produce a marker for the onetime Texas John Slaughter cowboy. Our gathering at Young’s grave was a touching tribute, and we were all glad to honor the memory of this true Westerner.


The James Young Crew (from left): Marshall Palmer, Frank E. Bothwell, John Langellier, Doug Woodpac, Dr. Michael S. Engs, Brenda Davis, Linda C. Leatherman and Murryelle Bothwell.

The February 2017 Old West Saviors reported that North Dakota and South Dakota offered the “only stone sentinel of its kind in the nation.” Although not as large, a stone sentinel can also be found along the Mason-Dixon line.




THE HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN “In order to keep dance halls filled with girls, the owners would stake some woman to go back east and bring in a fresh lot of girls. They would be induced to come West…. But when they reached their destination, they would find themselves forced to accept a life of debauchery. —Miguel Antonio Otero, My Life on the Frontier The West abounded with single men. Where there were men, there were red light districts, a term that appeared in print around 1894 supposedly in reference to the use of a red light outside brothels to signal the purpose of the establishment. A litany of euphemisms was used by Victorian clients (Johns) seeking solace for payment. Names for pleasure palaces inhabited by “residents of horizontal houses” ran the gamut: bagnios, bordellos, brothels, cathouses, cribs, bawdy houses, upstairs houses, sporting houses, houses of ill fame, houses of ill repute, and even a creative variant on the theme printed in a Cheyenne, Wyoming, newspapers in March 1871—a “house of loose architecture.” This last locale gave rise to the dubious honor of becoming the nickname for Chicago’s center of prostitution that ran from South Clark Street, wrapping around to Van Buren Street. This seamy side of the Windy City would be dubbed “Little Cheyenne” (aka “Old Chinatown”). Lore has it that the strip received its “name, as it had all of the ‘Lawlessness of the Old West and was lined with every sort of dive, saloon, gambling house, and house of ill-repute.” Not to be outdone, some folks in Cheyenne, Wyoming, reciprocated by labeling the neighborhood for their ladies of the night “Little Chicago.” Other names for these “soiled doves” who resided in these bawdy houses across the West abounded as well, but that’s a tale for another telling. From 1895 to 1911, Madam Effie Rogan operated houses of prostitution in Wallace, Idaho, including “The Reliance on Pine.” She was convicted for sex trafficking or “white slavery” under the Mann Act 1912. Visitors to Wallace can tour the Oasis Bordello Museum, which fronts an alley adjacent to Rogan’s last “house of the rising sun.” – COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO LIBRARY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS –


Doubling Down On Doc Never split aces when playing 21,or so they say.


y magazine staff is wonderful. They are talented and often save my bacon, but more important, they are not afraid to disagree with me. I was dead set on doing a split cover for this issue: one featuring Val Kilmer, and one featuring a painting of mine of Doc & Wyatt. My reasoning was that our subscribers want the “real” West on the cover of True West and a newsstand buyer is more apt to buy an issue with the “reel” West on the cover. Two things happened: my staff totally disagreed with me, and when I showed the two covers to five of my Old West historian friends, they unanimously chose the Val cover. This stunned me. So, rather than complicate things with two covers, I decided to double down and listen to my staff, and follow the “Keep it simple, stupid” design principle. Regardless of who is on the cover, our editorial well features the very best Doc Holliday minds in the business, including Gary L. Roberts (p. 39 and p. 160), Mary Doria Russell (p. 40) and Tom Clavin (p. 34). Not to mention our own Stuart Rosebrook, who gives us the roadside Doc (p. 86). Doubling down on Doc is an easy bet for us to take.

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

John Carradine’s gambler character in 1939’s Stagecoach (right) clearly inspired Val Kilmer and Dennis Quaid, who both adopted the imperial for their Doc Holliday movie portrayals. My Doc art is inspired by the two known adult photographs of Doc, rocking just the mustache. My signed and numbered monoprints of The Doctor Will See You Now are selling for $150 at, where you can also check out more of my Doc art! – STAGECOACH STILL COURTESY UNITED ARTISTS; ART BY BOB BOZE BELL –








“You cannot find yourself in the past or future. The only place where you can find yourself is in the Now.” – Eckhart Tolle, German-Canadian motivational speaker

“History is too serious to be left to historians.” – Iain MacLeod, British politician

Education is “hanging around until you catch on.” – Robert Frost, American poet

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain, American author, in 1869’s The Innocents Abroad

– Ursula K. Le Guin, American author

“I’m not young enough to know everything.” – J.M. Barrie, Scottish novelist

“ ’67, when I signed at Fox, I did seven unsold pilots, and while they were the leads, nobody knew who I was.... So I was unemployed for a long time, and I had a long time to say, ‘Boy, if I ever get a chance....’” —Tom Selleck, shown in 1990’s Quigley Down Under

“For me, driving the car was the hobby. It wasn’t a job. My job was working on a race car all week.” – Richard Petty, Nascar champion – TRUE WEST ARCHIVES –





“Story is our only boat for sailing on the river of time.”

Old Vaquero Saying

“Wrinkles mean you laughed, gray hair means you cared and scars mean you lived.”

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Stopping a Death Squad

How President Benjamin Harrison changed the outcome of Wyoming’s Johnson County War.


n April 1892, Benjamin Harrison had almost finished his first term as President of the United States. He couldn’t have foreseen it, but he was about to get pulled into the middle of Wyoming’s Johnson County War. In the solidly Republican state of Wyoming, admitted to the union under the President in 1890, Harrison counted among his friends political leaders who had ties to big cattle operations. But historians doubt the President knew cattle barons were PRESIDENT BENJAMIN HARRISON planning an invasion of the state. Their intent: to wipe out small President Benjamin Harrison stopped the blood from flowing, but the invaders never ranchers whom they considered rustlers paid a price for starting Johnson County’s famous range war. After they surrendered at and nesters. the T.A. Ranch to Fort McKinney cavalry (above), they were released About 50 invaders first hit the KC Ranch on bail and never faced a trial. on April 9, 1892, killing Nick Ray and Nathan – HARRISON PHOTO COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS; INVADERS PHOTO COURTESY WYOMING STATE ARCHIVES, 21993 – Champion. The “army” was on the move until Johnson County Sheriff “Red” Angus and a posse that grew to roughly 400 men headed Barber’s telegram to President Harrison martial law, which would effectively return them off at the TA Ranch on April 10. began, “An insurrection exists in Johnson power to the cattlemen. county, in the State of Wyoming, in the But Harrison was reluctant. He now understood the situation and knew that immediate vicinity of Fort McKinney, against the government of said state.” many citizens supported the small ranchers. His message didn’t state who was behind He also didn’t want to light a political the insurrection. But it alarmed Harrison, who powder keg, as he sought to keep his job. Harrison declined the request, although he got the telegram at around 11 p.m. on April did send 600 soldiers to Johnson County as 12. He ordered Fort McKinney’s troops to a show of force. Cornered in a barn, with no water or food intervene; they did, just before seven the next The end of the affair was anticlimactic. or additional ammunition, the invaders morning. Soldiers captured the invaders and took them to Cheyenne for trial. suffered a siege that went on for more than Charges against the invaders were dropped; a day, until a smuggled message got through Wyoming leaders—political and cattle— their power and money proved too much to state officials in Cheyenne. were nervous. Court testimony might for Johnson County’s budget. Still, Wyoming Governor Amos Barber was shocked. implicate them in the affair, and the small Republicans lost state and local elections The surgeon for the Wyoming Stock ranchers who had fought the invaders might in November, mostly due to public reaction Growers Association prior to becoming get the upper hand in the power struggle. to the invasion. Harrison’s economic policies governor, Barber had tacitly approved the Violence continued, on both sides. at the White House had been a disaster. He invasion prior to its start. Now everything Governor Barber and the state’s two lost his re-election bid too and returned to was falling apart. Indianapolis and his law practice. senators pushed the President to declare

The President didn’t want to light a political powder keg.




Scottsdale Art Auction Saturday, April 8, 2017



GERaRd CuRtis dElano EstimatE: $80,000 - 120,000

24" x 28" oil william R. lEiGh EstimatE: $350,000 - 550,000

28" x 22" oil

4 PhiliP R. Goodwin 40" x 28" oil EstimatE: $120,000 - 180,000

olaf wiEGhoRst EstimatE: $30,000 - 50,000

24" x 30" oil

Auctioning Over 300 Important Works of Western, Wildlife & Sporting Art color catalogue available $40 For more information please call (480) 945-0225 or visit





O l d W e sT s av i O r s By J a n a B o m m e r s B a c h

The Tombstone Collector Jim Melikian is True West’s “Best Western History Collector” of the year.

A new entry into the world of Tombstone ephemera, Jim Melikian jokes that he hopes the story of his collecting habit doesn’t reach his wife, Ana, shown with him. She supportively provided materials for our coverage, so she has at least given tacit approval of his latest obsession! – By AnA MelikiAn; ColleCtiBles Courtesy JAMes s. MelikiAn ColleCtion –


Jim and ana melikian

im Melikian was window shopping. Normally, the 61-year-old Arizona businessman scoured auction catalogs for items he’s been collecting since he was a teen—religious artifacts from around the world, pieces of Latin-American and black history, precious items from the life of Muhammad Ali. He intends to display them one day in a museum he’ll build in Phoenix, sharing with the world a passion that has more than once drained his bank account, but which he says has always been “a joy for me.” Yet here he was, in June 2016, salivating through 124 pages of the Legends of the West catalog by Heritage Auctions, and a whole new world of possibilities was opening up to him. “I couldn’t believe it—there were 178 lots, mostly from Tombstone—the most famous thing in Arizona history. Most were from the 1870s and ’80s, from the collection of a guy

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in Tucson. I thought, ‘What if I get a few pieces for my museum? I’ll get four or five things.’” A few pieces caught his eye right away: The bank draft cashed on the very day of the shoot-out behind the O.K. Corral; an 1879 petition with the signature of Tombstone founder Ed Schieffelin; the first-known postage stamp from the mining town, dated August 26, 1879. “I kept saying to myself, ‘This is cool stuff, but is it rare?’” So Melikian turned to two guys he knew would know, Arizona historian Jack August and True West’s Executive Editor Bob Boze Bell. Bell cautioned that Melikian should be sure the items were authentic, but told him, “If it’s real, go for it.” August was even more encouraging, assuring Melikian the items were not only rare, but priceless. An anonymous Tucson collector was selling the remarkable set of documents that the catalog touted as “one of the finest collections of early Tombstone and Arizona Territory items ever to appear at auction....” August wasn’t surprised to see such items in private hands. He knew that in the early 1900s, towns like Tombstone weren’t particularly careful about their records. “In 1929, the county seat shifted from Tombstone to Bisbee,

and a lot of stuff just got thrown away or scattered,” said August, who died at the age of 63 this January. Melikian was convinced and bid on a couple things. And won. “The hard part is not bidding,” he jokes. “The hard part is paying.” But he hadn’t spent that much and was pleased that he’d begun a brand new collection. “I had just paid off all my credit cards and had $100,000 in credit, and when you’re a collector...” He holds out both hands in a gesture of “Isn’t it obvious what you do next?” Then he realized that most of the items in the catalog were still available. So he bought some more. Then some more. And $80,000 later, he had acquired about half the Tombstone collection. “I felt like a picker by the end,” he says. “But for a collector, it’s having something nobody else has.” Like every collector, having these items fueled his curiosity for others that told the story of the Old West. He became intrigued by a photographer not as famous as C.S. Fly, but just as skilled, Tucson’s Henry Buehman. “I found people who’d bought hundreds of his photographs, and I started buying them too. That was another $20,000.” His museum is still a dream, but Melikian decided his new Tombstone collection

“I felt like a picker by the end. But for a collector, it’s having something nobody else has.”

needed to be shared immediately. With August’s help, he offered a sampling at the Arizona State Capitol in an exhibit that opened on September 22, 2016—exactly one day after the moment 139 years ago that Schieffelin filed his first mining claim on Goose Flats and named it Tombstone. Melikian not only let the public see these rare documents, but also provided a history lesson about Arizona’s most famous frontier town. Schieffelin was a 30-yearold U.S. Army scout and prospector when he went searching for his fortune in silver—dissuaded by a friend who warned him, “The only rock you will find out there will be your own tombstone.” He went looking in a dangerous area, not far from the Cochise Stronghold that had long been a hideout for the Apaches. But Schieffelin had the last laugh, becoming fabulously wealthy from the silver that poured out of the Tombstone area. The boom lasted until the 1890s, producing about $85 million (roughly $2 billion today) in silver. With the riches came the town still known as “Too Tough to Die.” By the mid-1880s, Tombstone was a complete community of churches, banks, newspapers, gambling halls, saloons, brothels, an opera house and a bowling alley. And yes, home to the O.K. Corral on Allen Street that would be forever famous because of Wyatt Earp and John Henry “Doc” Holliday (even though the 27-second gunfight actually took place six doors west of the O.K. Corral’s rear entrance.)

Edward Schieffelin (above), whose silver discovery in Arizona Territory led to the founding of Tombstone, was among the town’s leading citizens who signed this 1879 petition asking the Pima County Board of Supervisors to appoint John Brannick as constable. The petition was filed on October 6, two months before the Earp brothers arrived. Schieffelin’s signature is a rare find. – SCHIEFFELIN PHOTO TRUE WEST ARCHIVES –




Richard Gird was the first postmaster to take charge of Tombstone’s post office, established on December 2, 1878. This is the earliest known postal cancellation from Tombstone, dated August 26, 1879. Gird was with the Schieffelin brothers, Ed and Al, in 1877 at the discovery of the rich silver outcropping that would give Tombstone its name.

cattleman; Carl Gustave gambler Wesley Fuller and land speculator William “Billy” Allen. “Gus” Bilicke, prominent businessman who Thanks to consummate collector Melikian, Tombstone Silver Prospectors: built and operated the these historic Tombstone documents are Al Schieffelin stands behind his brother Cosmopolitan Hotel on once again telling their stories to the public. Ed and Richard Gird (from right). Allen Street; D. Waughtal, But he does have one story he hopes – TRUE WEST ARCHIVES – a relative of Morgan Earp’s won’t get told. “I know I’ve been reckless and irresponsible [spending so much],” he Why does the famous gunfight seem more wife, Louisa; and Otto Geisenhofer, real when an actual document from the who opened the first bakery in Tombstone says, “and I just don’t want my wife to read in 1879. very day of the shoot-out lays before you this article.” in a glass case? As the auction catalog That petition was filed on October 6, 1879, Jana Bommersbach has earned recognition as Arizona’s noted, “Documents from Tombstone two months before the Earp party arrived, Journalist of the Year and won an Emmy and two Lifetime and included two men who would witness, bearing this date are quite rare.” The bank Achievement Awards. She cowrote the Emmy-winning Outrageous Arizona and has written two true crime books, draft is from the Pima County Bank, two years later, the famous shoot-out: a children’s book and the historical novel Cattle Kate. payable to Hawkins, Boarman & Company, wholesale dealers in wines, liquors, oils and cigars. The $250 check is signed by P.W. Smith, the bank manager, and bears the stamp of October 26, 1881. Even more fascinating is a document with 28 signatures of the “who’s who” of early Tombstone—a four-page petition asking the county board of supervisors to appoint John Brannick as constable. Besides Ed Schieffelin, the document features the signatures of his brother Al; W.A. Harwood, the first mayor of Tombstone; Marshall On the day of the famous street fight behind the O.K. Corral, October 26, 1881, Pima Williams, Tombstone’s Wells Fargo agent; County Bank Manager P.W. Smith signed and stamped this check, paying $250 to C.J. Whitehurst, prominent Cochise County Hawkins, Boarman & Company. The townspeople probably had quite a need for the liquors, wines and cigars from these wholesale dealers!




Reputation matters.

Historic Custer Battlefield Rifle. January 21, 2017 Auction

Sold for $258,750


28TH ANNUAL SHOW & AUCTION JUNE 10-11, 2017 FORT WORTH - TEXAS Old West Events is currently seeking consignments of Cowboy & Indian antiques, and fine Western Art for our annual auctions. Single items, entire collections, and everything in between. Visit to submit inquiries and for more information. WESTERN AMERICANA ANTIQUE SHOW Weekend Shopping Event! Over 150 national dealers Saturday, June 10th: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Sunday, June 11th: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm WESTERN AMERICANA AUCTION Saturday, June 10th: 5:00pm Preview Hours: Friday, June 9th: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Saturday, June 10th: 9:00 am - 4:30 pm Purchase catalogs online: Keyston Bros., Exhibition Saddle January 21, 2017 Auction

Sold for $115,000

LOCATION The Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibits Hall Will Rogers Memorial Center 3401 W Lancaster Ave Fort Worth, TX 76107 18% Buyer’s Premium / 21% Online Buyer’s Premium Auctioneer: Troy Black, TX License No. 17584.

PH: 480-779-WEST (9378) | FAX: 855-779-WEST (9378) | [emailprotected]

C o l l e C t i ng t h e W e st BY M e g h a n S a a r

A First for Custer Firearms

A cartridge case discovery leads up to an auction sale of the first firearm forensically proven to have been used at the 1876 battle site.


he “first firearm forensically proven to have been used” at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, as the auction catalog noted, hammered down for a quarter of a million dollars at Brian Lebel’s High Noon in Mesa, Arizona, on January 27. Collectors of artifacts tied to George Custer—who history best remembers for his decisive defeat in June 1876 that led to the deaths of him and a detachment of 7th Cavalry troops—first widely learned about this Sharps 1874 rifle in a 1988 article written for Man at Arms Magazine by historical archaeologists Douglas D. Scott and Dick Harmon. They discussed not only the supporting forensic evidence, but also the pitfalls of verifying Custer battle guns in general. An accidental range fire in 1983 paved the path for a 1984 survey of the Montana fight site. Southeast of Lt. James Calhoun’s position and also on Greasy Grass Ridge, archaeologists recovered empty .50-70 caliber cartridge cases, among cases from other firearms, on known Indian warrior positions. The ballistic comparisons of two Martin-primed cartridge cases provided nearcertain proof that the 1874 Sharps sold at the auction was fired on Custer’s battlefield. Further evidence of the rifle’s strong provenance is the unbroken family chain of custody. The rifle, bearing serial C54586, was shipped on April 23, 1875, to Schuyler, Hartley and Graham, one of Sharps’s largest agents who shipped many early rifles west for the buffalo hide hunting trade. It was found on the Little Big Horn battlefield in 1883 by rancher Willis Spear and stayed with the family until it was sold at the auction. If any doubt could be raised on this being a Custer battle gun, it is the fact that the rifle was not found closer to the battle date. Some could speculate that it was fired in 1883 or

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The top-selling lot at High Noon was this 1874 Sharps that has been forensically linked to the Battle of the Little Big Horn; $225,000. Another lot tied to the 1876 battle is this film poster for the 1912 silent short, Custer’s Last Fight, which a collector got for a winning bid of $2,750.

even afterward, since access to the battlefield was unrestricted, says C. Lee Noyes, a retired U.S. Customs officer and former editor of the Custer Battlefield Historical & Museum Association quarterly newsletter. “And there is at least one known and photographed instance of a military firing demonstration there, in 1886, during the 10th anniversary of the Custer battle. In addition, Capt. Edward S. Luce, a 7th Cavalry veteran and long-time park superintendent, reportedly ‘salted’ the battlefield with cartridge cases and other ‘relics’ for tourists to find,” he adds. Other Custer battlefield guns before this one, however, had shakier provenance, as they relied solely on historical documentation. As Scott and Harmon wrote, the combination of modern crime laboratory firearms

identification procedures with archaeological evidence allowed for this 1874 Sharps to become the “first gun in history that has been scientifically proven to ‘have been there.’” Collectors who lost out on the chance to bid for a Custer battle gun have another opportunity—at the James D. Julia Auction this April 11-13. A Model 1873 Colt Single Action Army revolver, serial 5773, is one of three that 7th Cavalry Capt. Frederick W. Benteen reported unserviceable after the 1876 battle. This revolver has a “pure Little Big Horn pedigree,” Noyes says. Collectors earned more than $1.25 million for their Old West artifacts. Notable Old West Lots Included (All images courtesy Brian Lebel’s High Noon)

Boasting a note and signature from Sheriff Pat Garrett, this arrest warrant for Daniel Reed, issued March 30, 1882, in Lincoln County, New Mexico Territory, went to a collector who bid $10,500.

Old West photos are still selling high. The top historical photo sold at the auction was this cabinet card of Calamity Jane, photographed by C.E. Finn of Livingston, Montana Territory, on July 2, 1888, about a month after she got married. Clad in buckskin, she holds a Sharps rifle and carries a revolver on her hip; $5,000.

Humorist Will Rogers (at left) gave artist Charlie M. Russell (at right) this Elgin 14k, circa 1897 pocket watch in 1919, which hammered down for $8,500. The watch is engraved with the inscription, “To C.M. ‘Kid Russell’ From Will Rogers 1919.”

Western movie actor Tom Mix’s personal batwing chaps and framed carnival cards topped the celebrity lots at the auction, with a $17,000 bid.


American Western Art Altermann (Scottsdale, AZ) 480-945-0448

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Hell on the Buffalo Range Despite the romance associated with the buffalo hunters of the 1870s, the daily life of these frontiersmen was anything but glamorous. Hunters only shot as many buffalo as his skinners could manage in a day. In a small hunting outfit, the hunter would often spend the morning shooting, then help his skinners for the rest of the day, as this circa 1880 L.A. Huffman photo shows. In the larger outfits, some riflemen did nothing but shoot all day, and left the skinning, butchering and preserving meat, along with the pegging, drying and stacking of the hides to his helpers. – TRUE WEST ARCHIVES –


ife on the buffalo range was hard, dangerous work, often accomplished in extreme heat or freezing conditions, sometimes under the watchful eye of hostile Indians, who waited for a chance to put you out of business— for keeps! As part of a verse of the old frontier song titled “The Buffalo Skinners” goes, “While skinning the damned old stinkers our lives wasn’t a show, for the Indians watched to pick us off while skinning the buffalo.” In order to perform their tasks more efficiently and economically, and to realize the most profit from the hides, meat and tongues of the great beasts slaughtered, market hunters adopted a number of unique methods while on the range. In the age before modern safety procedures that today’s outdoorsmen take for granted—like hearing protection—many shooters went deaf from shooting their own guns, since they often fired hundreds, if not thousands, of rounds in a single season. Professionals avoided shooting from the prone position. They felt the shock wave from firing traveled further across the ground, spooking the bison. Most hunters fired from a kneeling or sitting position, using a cross-stick rest for their heavy rifles,

which averaged about 9 to 12 pounds, but could weigh as much as 17 pounds or more. To further insure that an accurate shot was made, many hunters, who’s hands became calloused from living a rugged, outdoor life, would sandpaper or file down the skin on the tip of their trigger fingers, almost to the point of bleeding. This ensured that when the rifle’s “set trigger” was set into readiness for firing, their finger would be sensitive to the lightest touch required to discharge it. When venturing from their campsite for a day’s shooting, the wise hunters carried a canteen, possibly some jerked meat, perhaps a sidearm, a hunting knife and ammunition. Whatever the amount carried, generally

Most buffalo-hunting camps were extremely primitive—most likely nothing more than a tent, a wagon or two or perhaps a lean-to or a dugout using hides and blankets for a covering, as shown in this January 1882 Montana photo by L.A. Huffman. – TRUE WEST ARCHIVES –




The two most often used rifles by 19th-century hide-hunters were the (top) 1874 Sharps, followed by (bottom) Remington’s No. 1 Rolling Block Sporting Rifle, This double-set trigger, .45-70 Sharps was shipped May 5, 1877, with a 30-inch barrel and weighs 10 lbs., 11 oz. The circa 1878 Remington employs a single set trigger, a 30-inch heavy barrel, and is in .44-77 chambering. – SHARPS FROM PHIL SPANGENBERGER COLLECTION / REMINGTON COURTESY ROCK ISLAND AUCTION CO. –

about 40 to 60 rounds, a savvy hide man always kept ten rounds in reserve, in the event that Indians attacked him. With those reserve cartridges he could slowly retreat to his campsite, while keeping out of range of his pursuers’ bow and arrows or smallercaliber rifles. The observant hunter also tried to stay in open country and never ventured too far into a group of animals, or allow the rummaging bison to surround him, for more than one overzealous buffalo man lost his scalp to Indians hiding in the midst of the herd. The daily amount of animals killed by a hunter depended on the number of animals his skinners could strip of their hides and butcher during that same day, especially

in extreme weather. In the frigid winter, it was an extremely difficult task to remove the hide after the carcass had frozen stiff, and in the sweltering summers, the downed buffs would spoil quickly. When water was scarce, hunters carefully urinated down their rifle barrels to wash out the black powder carbon buildup, while cooling the barrel. Hunters sometimes carried a couple of guns. Despite the misconception that most of the meat was left to rot, these men also profited from the sale of this provender. Salable meat was either pickled in brine or smoked before hauling it to market. However, with no way of preserving what they harvested for themselves in hot

Cross-sticks were often nothing more than a pair of thin, but stout wooden sticks, about 36 inches long, tied together at the appropriate spot so the rifle’s barrel could be rested in the crotch of this setup, securing a steady shot. Here, Spangenberger uses cross-sticks to get a steady shot with a custom Lone Star Rifle Co. (now defunct) Remington Rolling Block rifle. – COURTESY PHIL SPANGENBERGER COLLECTION – T R U E



weather, they sometimes seasoned the meat with black powder to disguise the rancid flavor. Buffalo hunting was anything but romantic, yet despite the rugged conditions and constant dangers endured by these hunters, this grueling occupation continues to capture the fancy of legions of Old West buffs. Nonetheless, as another line of “The Buffalo Skinners” ditty reveals, “I’ll tell you there’s no worse hell on earth than the range of the buffalo.”


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.

BUFFALO HUNTERS ENCYCLOPEDIA Anyone interested in the commercial buffalo hunts of 1870 through 1884, will find the Encyclopedia of Buffalo Hunters and Skinners books fascinating and valuable. To date, hardcover volumes (Vol. 1, A-D, Vol. II, E-K) have been published. Authors Miles Gilbert, Leo Remiger and Sharon Cunningham have diligently researched the primary sources and published literature, and have listed alphabetically the meat and hide hunters, skinners, suppliers, freighters, bone gatherers and/or any of the men and women involved with the buffalo market. Using sources from a simple entry found in a city directory to colorful extensive autobiographical accounts, the authors have produced the most complete works ever compiled on the subject. T R U E



When Doc Met Wyatt Brought together by one of the dirtiest outlaws in the entire West.

Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp became fast friends, which puzzled some of Earp’s pals, especially Bat Masterson, who objected to Holliday’s sometimes appalling behavior. – ALL PHOTOS TRUE WEST ARCHIVES/ILLUSTRATIONS BY BOB BOZE BELL –






“Such, then, was the beginning of my acquaintance with Doc Holliday, the mad, merry scamp with heart of gold and nerves of steel; who, in the dark years that followed stood at my elbow in many a battle to the death.”

ohn Henry “Doc” gang was led by “Dirty” Dave Holliday had Rudabaugh, a 23-year-old a restless year Illinois native. He earned in 1877. the nickname naturally, by The dentist-turned-gambler bathing infrequently and had spent time in Cheyenne, wearing clothes that even Wyoming, and in Denver, by frontier standards were Colorado. Then, though quite filthy. never to be mistaken for a The October robbery had family man, he had visited an taken place in Kansas, and aunt in Kansas. The next stop it was believed the thieves was Texas. had escaped into Texas, so In Breckenridge, he a deputy U.S. marshal was resumed gambling. There required to do the chasing. were fireworks on July 4, but That job was given to Wyatt. not to celebrate the counThis would be lonely, try’s independence. Doc and dangerous and exhausting another man, Henry Kahn, work. Certainly, Wyatt could also a gambler and a member have made more money at of a Dallas clothing family, got the gaming tables. It can —Wyatt Earp into an argument. only be conjectured that the Instead of going for his challenge appealed to him. If gun, Doc, reverting to his there wasn’t enough action Southern roots, used his in Dodge City to make walking stick on the other man. Local peace lawing worthwhile there, Wyatt would bring it officers interrupted the fight and arrested both with him on the road. men, who were later fined and released. Day after day, for 400 miles, he tracked Dirty Doc made a mistake—rather, two mistakes. Dave and his gang through Kansas and the One was not fully appreciating Kahn’s Panhandle and deeper into Texas. Along the way continuing anger at being beaten. The second he was buffeted by the late-autumn winds, his mistake was going out without his guns. When face swept by sand and grit, traveling from one confronted, even though Doc was unarmed, Kahn watering hole to the next, being told tales of the shot him. Three days later, The Dallas Weekly gang having passed through, some of them true. Herald reported that Doc Holliday had died. When Wyatt arrived in Fort Griffin, he came He hadn’t, but the serious wound combined to a different sort of watering hole, the Bee Hive with his worsening tuberculosis made it a close Saloon. A honeysuckle-bordered sign out front call. A change of scenery seemed like a good idea. offered: “Within this hive we’re all alive, Good His next stop was in Fort Griffin, and it was whiskey makes us funny, So if you’re dry come up there he met the two people who would be the and try, The flavor of our honey.” closest to him for the rest of his life—Mary Wyatt would have enjoyed the faro games Katherine Haroney, known as Kate Elder, and inside more than the whiskey, but the reason he Wyatt Earp. entered the saloon was that he knew it was owned by John Shanssey, whom he had met before during a detour to Wyoming. Shanssey revealed that Rudabaugh had been In November 1877, Wyatt left Dodge City, in his establishment several days earlier but Kansas. As usual, he wanted to make more money was gone, destination unknown. He suggested than off-season lawing offered, but instead of that Wyatt ask the man sitting by himself at the returning to Deadwood, Dakota Territory, to deal table in the back corner, because the man had faro, Wyatt wound up in Texas. That is where the somehow managed to hold his breath long enough trail of a gang of train robbers took him, men he to play a few hands of cards with Dirty Dave. had been hired to find. Doc Holliday invited Wyatt Earp to sit down. In October 1877, a gang of thieves had robbed When Wyatt declined, Doc poured a shot of a Santa Fe Railroad construction camp. The whiskey just for himself. Holliday, though only

Trouble in Texas




26 years old, had a haggard face and a chronic cough. He dressed well, and his face showed some spark thanks to his deep-set blue eyes and neatly trimmed mustache. Sitting at the table idly dealing cards, Doc couldn’t say for sure where Dirty Dave Rudabaugh and his fellow outlaws were, but he suspected from a few comments made that they had doubled back to Kansas. Word had traveled faster than Wyatt’s horse that the former Dodge City lawman was trailing the gang into Texas, and doing what was not expected might enhance their escape. This made sense enough to Wyatt that he headed over to the telegraph office and sent a message to the sheriff of Ford County that the gang of thieves might be back in the area. Upon receiving the telegram, Bat Masterson, the top lawman in southeast Kansas, put together a posse.

An Uneasy Truce If Bat Masterson had known that the deputy U.S. marshal’s hunch was helped along by Doc Holliday, he might have tossed it aside. The two men quickly came to dislike each other and observed an uneasy truce only because they were Wyatt’s best friends. One indication of how generally unlikable Doc was could be summed up this way: if the gregarious and often cheerful Bat wanted to have as little to do with you as possible, you must be rather unappealing company. Thirty years later, in a magazine essay about Doc Holliday, Bat began in an evenhanded way: “While he never did anything to entitle him to a Statue in the Hall of Fame, Doc Holliday was nevertheless a most picturesque character on the western border in those days when the pistol instead of law determined issues.” He went on: “Holliday had a mean disposition and an ungovernable temper, and under the influence of liquor was a most dangerous man.... Physically, Doc Holliday was a weakling who could not have whipped a healthy fifteen-yearold boy in a go-as-you-please fist fight,” t r u e


w e st

Confident gambler Doc Holliday and his paramour Kate Elder (shown) pulled into Dodge City in 1878 at a good time. The Kansas cowtown’s local newspaper reported that the “far-famed ‘wicked city’ is decked out in gorgeous attire in preparation for the long horn” and the “Mary Magdaleens” were about to be “selling their souls to whoever’ll buy.”

pointing out that this was why Doc was quick to go for his gun when threatened. However, that January, such judgments were ahead of him, plus Bat doubted that Wyatt could be hoodwinked with false information. Thus, he acted on the belief that Dirty Dave and his gang were back in Kansas. Bat put together a posse that consisted of “Prairie Dog” Morrow, John Joshua Webb and his former boss, Charlie Bassett. The third week in January, having by then been duly sworn in, and braving the risk of blizzards, Sheriff Masterson set off with his posse for the territory between Dodge City and for the Texas Panhandle, which included the Cherokee Strip. They picked up signs on the trail that made them think the Rudabaugh group was in the area. Nasty winter weather caused Bat and his deputies to seek shelter at a ranch owned by cattleman Henry Lovell. Bat had an idea: if those outlaws were in the area, they would be looking for shelter themselves, and Lovell’s ranch was known to all. Bat suggested that they abandon the ranch but stay near it, at least for one night. They bedded down within sight of the compound, and the four men took turns as lookouts. The night ended but the storm didn’t, making for a cold and miserable posse. But Bat wasn’t a quitter and neither were his deputies.

Late the next afternoon, as the wan light was fading from the Western sky and Bat debated whether another night spent in the snow was merited, the lawmen saw four riders approach the ranch. The sighs of relief of Dirty Dave and his desperadoes turned to groans as Bat, Morrow, Webb and Bassett appeared out of the driving snow with their hands full of shotguns and six-shooters. Bat ordered them to throw down their guns and throw up their hands. Though heavily armed themselves, the outlaws were too flummoxed to fire a shot. The next morning, Bat led his party back to Dodge City, where the lawmen were lauded and the outlaws taken by train east to await trial. Dirty Dave was a lowdown scoundrel to the rest of his gang. He informed on them, probably heaping most of the blame on his former comrades. They wound up in prison. Rudabaugh, after promising to go straight, was released and allowed to ride off to New Mexico. By 1879, he had put together a fresh band of outlaws, who included, of all people, former lawman John Joshua Webb. Rudabaugh joined up with Hoodoo Brown’s Dodge City Gang. Rudabaugh eventually joined up with another gang, led by William Bonney, who would become known as Billy the Kid. Dirty Dave spent the last night of his life in Mexico, February 18, 1886, when he shot a man he accused of cheating in a card game. Angry friends of the dead man gathered. Rudabaugh was seized, and knives went to work. For the next few

The outlaw whose chase inspired one of the Old West’s most strongest friendships lost his head, literally, after a crazy night in Mexico. This grisly scene shows Dirty Dave Rudabaugh’s severed head being paraded around town in 1886.

days, Dirty Dave’s severed head was paraded through the town of Parral. He had lived a full life of villainy in only 32 years.

Save Me, Kate With Bat and his posse taking care of Rudabaugh and his gang after they had doubled back from Texas, Wyatt returned to Dodge City, Kansas, in January 1878. Around this time, his new acquaintance, Doc Holliday, began the flight that would eventually bring him to Dodge City. It was Kate Elder who got him out of a serious jam. In 1875, Kate was performing in a Dodge City dance hall and was probably a part-time prostitute. Though an attractive woman, her nose was a tad prominent; by 1896, newspapers were calling her Big Nose Kate. Why she was in Fort Griffin, Texas, in January 1878 is not known. It may have simply been a place to find work at a time of year when saloon jobs were scarce. She met Doc Holliday there. They had quick tempers, a love for alcohol, independence, restlessness and a low regard for life in common. All that and more would be enough to keep them together despite the knockdown, drag-out fights that would impress those who knew them. Soon after Wyatt left Fort Griffin to head north, Doc was playing cards with Ed Bailey, a man whose reputation included

Lawman-turned-outlaw John Joshua Webb (right) got convicted of murder after shooting a man, Michael Kelliher, inside a saloon in Las Vegas, New Mexico Territory, allegedly in self-defense. He escaped from jail, however, in November 1881 with the help of another inmate—his buddy, Dirty Dave Rudabaugh. Webb didn’t enjoy freedom long; he died of smallpox on April 12, 1882.

being a bit of a bully. Doc was the one dealing, and Bailey picked up the discarded cards and looked at them. The former dentist must have been in a mellow mood because he let slide what was a clear violation of Western poker. But when Bailey continued to do it, Doc warned him, and after a couple of unheeded warnings, he simply raked in the pot without revealing to Bailey if his hand was a winner or not. For Bailey, this was like waving a red flag in front of a bull. Immediately furious, he reached for his gun. Just as it was coming visible above the table, Doc slashed a knife across his stomach. Bailey lurched to his feet, then pitched

forward, his blood drooling out across the poker table. There were witnesses to the incident, so when lawmen arrived, Doc surrendered the knife and cooperated with his arrest. It was clearly a case of self-defense, as the others in the saloon would testify. Because Fort Griffin did not have a jail, Doc was kept in a hotel room until the judge could be found. But Bailey had friends who didn’t take kindly to him being filleted like a fish. They headed toward the hotel with a long length of rope. Fortunately for Doc, Kate got wind of what was going on. Thinking fast, she set fire to an old shed filled with hay. The sudden conflagration and the hectic activity involved in trying to douse the fire slowed the lynch mob enough that Kate arrived at the hotel first, a pistol in each hand. This surely intimidated the guard, who ran off. Kate and Doc commandeered a couple of horses and left town while the fire continued to be fought. Their destination was Dodge City, Kansas. The reason may have been to seek Wyatt’s protection in case some people in Fort Griffin, Texas, went on being agitated about Bailey’s bloody demise. In any event, when the two fugitives arrived, they checked into Deacon Cox’s Boarding House, with Doc signing the register as Dr. and Mrs. J.H. Holliday. They were so relieved by their escape from the mob that Doc vowed to give up gambling and return to dentistry, and Kate reciprocated by vowing to give up the whoring saloon life. For a time, both were sincere.

t r u e


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A Puzzling Friendship Begins The job of taming Dodge City, Kansas, and by extension the American frontier, was incomplete that April. That month saw the first public and certainly the biggest funeral in the brief history of Dodge City. Bat’s brother Ed had been the marshal for six months when drunken cowboy Jack Wagner gunned him down on April 9. Steady lawmen with experience would be needed like never before in Dodge City in 1878. That year would go down as the one that saw the most cattle arrive from Texas, accompanied by well over 1,000 drovers. That would mean the saloons would operate at full capacity, constantly populated by gamblers and dancing girls and prostitutes and an excess of customers. Drinking and carousing and hurrahing would be a nightly revelry, and not all of it stayed confined to the south side of the Dead Line.




How the peace officers handled all this activity would determine whether the city could continue to progress or would descend into chaos. It was as good a time as any for a confident gambler like Doc Holliday to pull into town. This would be the beginning of people puzzling over Wyatt’s devoted friendship with a man whom others disdained and, with some justification, objected to Doc’s sometimes appalling behavior. Some years later, reflecting on Doc, whom he described as “long, lean, and ash-blond and the quickest man with a sixshooter I ever knew,” Wyatt recalled that not long after Doc and Big

Bat Masterson (left) detested Doc Holliday. “He was hot-headed and impetuous and very much given to both drinking and quarreling, and, among men who did not fear him, was very much disliked,” Masterson described him, in an article for the May 1907 issue of Human Life.

While looking for Dirty Dave Rudabaugh in Fort Griffin, Texas, Wyatt Earp walked up to the faro table to talk to the welldressed faro banker, Doc Holliday. It was the first time the two met, and a friendship was forged.

Nose Kate Elder arrived in Dodge City “his quickness saved my life.” Without identifying who the assailant was, Wyatt told of a man drawing a gun on him while his back was turned. Doc shouted, “Look out, Wyatt!” Before Wyatt could completely turn around, Doc had jerked his pistol out and shot the man. In his recollection, Wyatt commented, “On such incidents as that are built the friendships of the frontier.” This incident could have been invented years afterward to justify the odd friendship, but it was not out of character for Doc to have Wyatt’s back, and it would not be the only time. This is an edited excerpt from Dodge City by Tom Clavin. Copyright ©2017 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press. A reporter for The New York Times, Clavin has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Marine Corps Heritage Foundation and National Newspaper Association.

Lady Death didn’t wait long before snatching Doc Holliday. He died at the age of 36, of tuberculosis, the same disease that had stolen his mother from him when he was 15. His buddy Wyatt Earp, in contrast, lived a long life of nearly 81 years.


Gary L. Roberts gave Western historians a monumental present with his excellent biography, Doc Holliday: The Life and Legend, published in 2006. His fascination with the gunfighting dentist continues to this day, and he offers his viewpoint on Doc Holliday’s friendship with Wyatt Earp as well as how Bat Masterson felt about Doc in the end. Wyatt & Doc: The biggest misconception about Doc is that he was totally wrapped up in Wyatt. He was loyal to his friend. He admired him. But he was no lap-dog sidekick. Their friendship was sealed in the summer of 1878 when Doc backed Wyatt’s play in a confrontation with Texas cowboys. Wyatt said that Doc saved his life that evening. After leaving Arizona Territory in 1882, Wyatt and Doc went their separate ways, still friends.

Bat & Doc: Doc’s relationship with Bat was more complicated than his friendship with Wyatt. Bat said some nasty things about Doc in his 1907 Human Life article, things that helped to shape the popular view of Doc ever after, but the historical record suggests that he had a different—and friendlier—view of Doc. Bat knew more details about Doc’s earlier life than Wyatt did. When Doc was arrested in Denver, Colorado, in 1882, Bat acted as his spokesman. That could be chalked up to Bat’s friendship with Wyatt, but Doc also assisted Bat several times over the years. In interviews, Bat spoke well of him. Kate (Doc’s common-law wife known as Big Nose Kate Elder) said that Bat gave Doc a revolver when they left Dodge City, Kansas. A case could be made that, despite what he later wrote, Bat saw Doc as a dependable and amiable associate.

By Mary Doria russell

Who Was the Best Huckleberry? One DOc HOlliDay actOr stanDs abOve tHe rest.


a chilly October afternoon

There are many versions of the tale. Usually

in 1881, a misdemeanor

a gambler and gunman called Doc Holliday

arrest in Tombstone, Arizona Territory,

arrives in Tombstone with a bad reputation and

escalated out of control in a matter of moments.

a hooker named “Big Nose” Kate. The character

Thirty seconds and 30 bullets later, three of four

is dying of TB, so he is careless of his own

sworn officers were wounded. Of five civilians,

life, a quick death being preferable to what

three were dead, and one of them was unarmed.

tuberculosis threatens.

Within hours, the AP wire service made the

Some fine actors have been cast as Doc, and

“gunfight at the O.K. Corral” news around the

they all brought something memorable to the

world. To this day, the names of the participants

role. In 1967’s Hour of the Gun, Jason Robards

are remembered and controversy about the

was sarcastic and funny, though too old to play

event remains lively. What was the fight really

a man who died at 36. In a 1971 film, “Doc,”

about? Whose fault was it?

a young Stacy Keach made us listen to the

Legal and moral ambiguity has made the story compelling to hundreds of writers, myself among them. I suspect, however, that most of us are drawn into the history because of Doc Holliday.


us feel how ugly and painful the disease is. Dennis Quaid lost 30 pounds to play the tubercular dentist for 1994’s Wyatt Earp. The

In life, he had few friends, but in American

screenplay gave him awful dialogue, but when

mythology Doc has become clever Odysseus

you see Quaid stalking along on those broomstick

to Wyatt Earp’s stalwart Achilles—a source of

legs, you get a real sense of Doc’s physical frailty.

detached amusem*nt and witty commentary.

Val Kilmer’s Doc looks a little too robust

Wyatt’s the hero, but Doc is the one we love.

t r u e

appalling, violent cough of late-stage TB, making

w e st

by contrast. And yet, in my opinion, nobody

DOC HOLLIDAY WANNABES Nearly 70 actors have portrayed Doc Holliday or a character based on him, but few have even slightly resembled him. Which of these following actors do you believe best captured the real Doc? (Hint: The later the film, the more careful the makeup job.)

Harry Carey Sr., Law and Order, 1932

Cesar Romero, Frontier Marshal, 1939

Walter Huston, The Outlaw, 1943

Victor Mature, My Darling Clementine, 1946

Douglas Fowley, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, 1955-61

Kirk Douglas, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, 1957

Adam West, Lawman, 1959

Peter Breck, Maverick, 1960-62

Anthony Jacobs, Doctor Who, 1966

Jason Robards, Hour of the Gun, 1967

Sam Gilman, Star Trek, 1968

Stacy Keach, “Doc,” 1971

Dennis Hopper, Wild Times, 1980

Dennis Quaid, Wyatt Earp, 1994

Shane O’Loughlin, Legends & Lies, 2015

Tim Rozon, Wynonna Earp, 2016-17








“Kilmer’s Doc Holliday Steals the Show in Tombstone” was the headline in the Orlando Sentinel newspaper. Variety agreed: “’s Kilmer who delivers the standout performance, giving fresh shadings to the lethal but humorous Doc Holliday.” – ALL TOMBSTONE PHOTOS COURTESY BUENA VISTA PICTURES –

captured the real Doc

deprivation, and watched that

Holliday as well as Kilmer

hardship hasten his mother’s

did in the 1993 classic

decline as tuberculosis slowly


withered her to bone.

He had great material

A serious scholar, he

to work from: a Doc who

earned the degree of Doctor

is amusing and amused,

of Dental Surgery at the age

worldly and urbane, a man

of 20 from the best dental

who is seriously ill, but

school in America. Just 18

who waves off his friends’

months later, he himself

concerns about his illness and sneers at sympathy.

As a toddler, the child had a significant speech impediment. His

was diagnosed with advanced pulmonary tuberculosis.

Kevin Jarre’s well-researched

mother invented speech therapy for

At 22, he left everyone and

screenplay accurately presents

him and started his piano lessons

everything he loved, hoping that

Doc as a consumptive Southern

early, to counteract his shyness.

the dry air and heat of the desert

gentleman who speaks Latin and

Ten years old when the Civil War

Southwest would give him more

plays Chopin. The Holliday family

began, the boy endured hunger and

time. It did, but like his mother, he

was indeed privileged Georgia gentry, and Doc was, in fact, welleducated. Throughout




however, the real John Henry Holliday faced a series of medical challenges. He was born with a cleft palate and lip in 1851, when that condition commonly resulted in an infant’s death by starvation or pneumonia. His own uncle, Dr. John Stiles Holliday, surgically repaired the defect—the first time that European procedure was done in North America. T R U E



The cup-spinning scene, a truly classic moment in a Western film, provoked bad blood between Doc Holliday and Johnny Ringo. After the pair exchange Latin phrases at a gaming table, Holliday says, “Evidently, Mr. Ringo’s an educated man. Now I really hate him.” A ticked off Ringo points his Colt .45 at Holliday’s face and then does a bunch of spins over and over again, to antagonize Doc. Then comes the scene topper: When Ringo finishes his gunplay, Holliday picks up his silver cup and spins it by the handle, repeating Ringo’s gun spins. Take that, Ringo! – ILLUSTRATED BY BOB BOZE BELL –

died in his 30s, having been sick his entire adult life. He lost his battle at 36, living a year less than his mother had. He was no fatalist seeking death. To the very end, he was hoping for a cure. He wanted what everyone in a hospital wants: to get better and go home. The beauty of Kilmer’s portrayal of this man is that he briefly lets us see how scared and ill Doc is. Now and then, we enter the private

I’m Your Huckleberry Hero Doc Holliday was not the only one who fit to a T the phrase, “I’m Your Huckleberry,” Victorian-era slang for “I’m the man for the job.” Val Kilmer will go down in history as the best actor to encapsulate the iconic character, creating one of the most cinematic memories in the Western genre. For folks who wish they could have met the real Doc Holliday, Kilmer is their huckleberry. The actor also transformed Doc into a hero, for film critic Scott Jordan

life of a sick man whose dignity

Harris, who has suffered from Myalgic Encephalopathy for more than 15

and pride require that he keep his

years. In a memorable 2014 article for The Guardian, Harris described the

distance from most people. That

famous “I’m your Huckleberry” scene as “one of the most inspiring sights

feels like a privilege.

in cinema.”

Few of us will confront death as dramatically as Doc and the others did, standing six paces from armed and angry men. But all of us will die, and many of us will do so slowly. Doc Holliday and Val Kilmer showed us how to stare at that kind of death and face it down with humor and bravura and gallantry. We are grateful, and we’ll remember both of them. Author of acclaimed novels Doc (Random House, 2011) and Epitaph (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2015), Mary Doria Russell holds a Ph.D. in biological anthropology; she taught head and neck anatomy at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine.

Spoiler alert (as if most of you don’t already know this scene by heart): When Johnny Ringo hears Wyatt Earp approach, he smiles; he’s all game to fight. But once he sees the pallid and frail Doc Holliday slip through the trees, he looks petrified. When Doc reminds him he’s here to “play for blood,” Ringo stammers out some excuse that they don’t really have a quarrel. “I was kidding about that,” he says. “I wasn’t,” Holliday responded. In that moment, “...his eyes announce that the reckoning has arrived,” Harris wrote. “It’s the coolest a chronically ill character has ever looked on screen. By this point, Wyatt Earp would already have been dead.” The scene-stealing performance continued, with Kurt Russell’s Wyatt Earp (above, at left) running through the thicket up to Kilmer’s Doc (above, at right) and looking at the dead body before him in total shock. When he asks, “What happened?” Doc coolly responds, “Poor soul, he was so high-strung. Afraid the strain was more than he could bear.” Many fans of 1993’s Tombstone would heartily agree with Harris, who concluded: “Doc Holliday proves you can be chronically ill and still be an action hero.” And we all have Kilmer to thank for that.




Road to Gold Redemption


Thousands headed north to escape economic troubles in the Old West’s last great gold rush.

If a singular word describes the 1897 Klondike Gold Rush, it is audacious. Everything about this rush for riches was audacious; the people, their lifestyles, the obstacles they overcame, the land from which they tickled wealth. Prospector Clarence Berry illustrated this lavishness best. Outside his cabin, at the height of the gold rush, he placed a coffee can filled with gold nuggets and a whiskey bottle, with a sign reading, “Help Yourself!” He eventually left the Klondike with $1.5 million (nearly $45 million today). George Carmack, known as Lying George, sparked the gold rush when he walked into Bill McPhee’s smoke-filled saloon in the settlement of Forty Mile in Canada’s Yukon Territory in August 1896. He ordered a round of drinks for the house, shouting, “There’s been a big strike upriver!” He, his brother-in-law, “Skookum” Jim Mason, and Jim’s nephew Charlie Mason had just struck gold.





These prospectors in 1898 were among the nearly 40,000 gold seekers who chose to climb the Chilkoot Trail to reach the Klondike goldfields. – TRUE WEST ARCHIVES –




The Men Who Sparked the Rush The Sourdoughs were not impressed as they downed their whiskey. They had heard Carmack’s tall tales before. Named for the fermented dough used to make bread and flapjacks, these men had drifted north while the rest of America had gone west. They barely peppered the interior of mammoth Alaska. The 1890 census showed Alaska with merely 4,300 whites. Along the Yukon River stretching out of the Canadian wilderness to the Bering Sea lived 2,000 Sourdoughs. Still, Lying George was paying in raw gold, and it was about time for a strike. The value of gold shipped out of the Yukon Territory had jumped from $30,000 in 1887 to $800,000 in 1896 (roughly $771,000 to $23.3 million today). A few days later, some 1,500 Sourdoughs decided to check out Carmack’s tale and made their way up the Yukon river to where the small Klondike tributary emptied into it. Each man hurriedly staked out a claim before the bitterly cold winter settled in. They threw up crude log cabins and shoved blocks of ice into holes in the walls to act as window glass letting light in and keeping the wind out. Most of the Sourdoughs were destitute. Frank Buteau used sails to propel his sled as he was unable to afford a dog team. Paddy Meehan was molding dentures from tin spoons and using teeth from a mountain sheep for the fronts when a bear tried breaking into his cabin. After he shot the bear, he used the animal’s back teeth for the molars and then stewed and ate the bear with its own teeth. By spring, each had a small fortune. En masse, they made their way downriver to the Bering Sea, catching boats to the Lower Forty Eight, eager to spend their gold. On July 14, 1897, the Excelsior docked in San Francisco, California, unloading the gold-bearing Sourdoughs onto an America stricken by one of its worse economic depressions. That year saw its highest unemployment rate since the panic started in 1893. A U.S. note could no longer be successfully redeemed for gold. Three days later, the Portland docked in Seattle, Washington, with its Sourdough T R U E



Forty Mile, the oldest town in Canada’s Yukon, was established in 1886 by gold prospectors, like the miners shown at a post in the town in this circa 1898 photograph. Most of the miners who staked the original claims during the Klondike Gold Rush came from Forty Mile. – ERIC A. HEGG PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON-SEATTLE –

One winner who emerged among the many losers who struck out during the Klondike Gold Rush was German immigrant Friedrich Trump, the grandfather of U.S. President Donald Trump. Friedrich (shown in inset in 1887) co-owned the Arctic Restaurant and Hotel, seen in this circa 1899 photo of Whitehorse, Yukon. The fine dining and lodging offered a respite among a sea of tents. – COURTESY PROVINCIAL ARCHIVES OF ALBERTA, P7125 –

When Jack London stepped ashore in Alaska in 1897, the 21 year old looked every bit as boyish and threadbare as these four Yukon prospectors. London ventured north to find his fortune when America was suffering from an economic depression. He failed to find his gold riches, leaving with only $4.50 to his name (equal to $133 today), but his Klondike adventure set him on the course to greater fame and fortune, as an author. Readers got a glimpse of his adventure stories to come when he sold a story about his Klondike trip to the Overland Monthly in 1898. – Courtesy Library of Congress –

passengers. Roughly 5,000 people crowded the waterfront to see if the rumors of gold were true. They were not disappointed; Sourdoughs came running down the gang plank with bags of the glittering stuff. In The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, reporter Beriah Brown flashed the nation with the news that the ship carried “more than a ton of solid gold” from the Klondike.

A Crazy Seattle Scene The announcement set off a stampede for the West Coast. Anything that could float was now sailing north out of Seattle. That city’s streets were jammed with thousands elbowing their way to the docks. Store clerks quit by the hundreds. Street cars halted as operators resigned on the spot. Hotels filled. Restaurants were packed with people. Seattle experienced an epidemic of dogs stolen and smuggled north to work the sleds. Seattle Mayor W.D. Wood was attending a conference in San Francisco, California, when the Portland docked. He resigned by telegram and raised $150,000—more than $4 million in today’s dollars—to buy a steamer to take himself and paying passengers to St. Michael at the mouth of the Yukon River. John McGraw, former Washington State governor and president of the First National Bank, hopped on the Portland northbound.

An elderly man fatally stricken with lung disease boarded the Portland, shouting at distraught relatives that he’d rather die trying to get rich than rot on his death bed in poverty. Some 40 ships left for Alaska within the first months of the news of the gold strike. These included ships that, before the news, were scheduled to be broken up in the shipyards.

Celebrity Prospectors Gold seekers could take two paths to the Klondike from Skagway and nearby Dyea. Roughly 40,000 prospectors chose the near vertical Chilkoot Pass, while others took the longer White Pass. Both trails met at Lake Bennett. There, Donald Trump’s grandfather, Friedrich Trump, operated a two-story hotel and restaurant that had a reputation of soiled doves for the offering. Along the shoreline, 30,000 would-be millionaires waited for the frozen lake to snap open. When Lake Bennett did, on May 29, 1897, about 800 rafts set off on the first day; 7,124 boats, within 48 hours. All had to shoot through a series of rapids on the Yukon River. Mounties patrolled the rapids to recover the bodies of those who drowned, eluded forever from their fortune of gold. Old West figures, including lawman Wyatt Earp, boxing promoter Tex Rickard

and lawman Frank Canton, were drawn to the gold rush, as were madam Mattie Silks, poet scout John “Captain Jack” Crawford and Indian fighter “Arizona Charlie” Meadows. Crawford, his goatee and long hair now snow white, sold ice cream out of the Wigwam, while Meadows impressed his saloon patrons by shooting little glass balls out of the hands of his dance hall girls, until the inevitable accident happened. These famous pioneers mingled with throngs of inexperienced men and women— schoolteachers, single mothers, bank tellers, seamen, basketball coaches—staking everything on this one shot to get rich. Sea captain Billy Moore, discoverer of the White Pass route, laid out Mooresville where the Skaguay River met the sea. But the crush of people overwhelmed him, and his mining claims were ignored. When the new city of Skagway platted a street through the middle of Moore’s home, the 74 year old came out swinging a crowbar before a mob subdued him. Young author Jack London found muddy streams serving as streets, lined with tents, huts and thrown up wooden structures. Gunfire filled the air, and prostitutes conducted business in full public view. North-West Mounted Police Superintendent Samuel Steele called Skagway “little better than a hell on earth.”

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The Rise and Fall Established by Carmack’s gold discovery site, Dawson grew from 500 in 1896 to 5,000 within six months. By 1898, the city had 20,000 people. Of the 100,000 who set out for the Klondike, only 4,000 found gold. And only 200 found enough to be considered rich. Locals dubbed them the “Klondike Kings.” A criminal element was drawn to these gold camps. Jefferson “Soapy” Smith led a vicious gang of confidence men, taking control of both Skagway and Wrangell, until gunfire brought an end to Soapy, literally. In contrast, Dawson was relatively safe, with 288 Northwest Mounted Policemen under Supt. Steele. Gambling and prostitution were permitted, as law enforcement focused on major crimes. Not one murder took place in Dawson. Steele also enforced a series of blue laws that included one ensuring nobody worked on Sundays, or else, they’d have to chop firewood for the Mounties. Genuine tales of wealth staggered the imagination. “Swiftwater” Bill Gates’s claim was literally knee deep in gold. Within two hours, Jim Tweed took $4,284 (roughly $160,000 today) from his claim. Frank Dinsmore found $24,489 ($722,000) in gold in one day. Albert Lancaster averaged $2,000 a day for eight weeks ($3.3 million). Sid Grauman saw his first movie in the Yukon; the money he and his father made entertaining the miners paid for their movie palaces in California, including the last one Sid built, the famous Chinese Theatre in T R U E



Los Angeles. Tom Lippy became a philanthropist, giving generously to the YMCA and donating land to expand Seattle General Hospital in Washington. Lying George Carmack invested in Seattle real estate and died wealthy. Dawson prostitute Silks made a fortune mining the miners; she returned to Colorado where she married a rancher. Lawman Rickard left Alaska with enough gold to acquire New York’s Madison Square Garden. Playwright Wilson Mizner helped build the Brown Derby into an iconic Los Angeles restaurant. Trump sold his hotel-restaurant in Whitehorse, returned to Germany to get married and then moved to New York, where his gold aided in real estate ventures. Actresses “Klondike Kate” Rockwell, “Diamond Tooth” Gertie Lovejoy and “Diamond Lil” Davenport made huge sums. Grace Drummond sold herself to Charlie Anderson for $50,000 (nearly $1.5 million); Gussie Lamore joined Gates for $30,000 (valued today at $884,000), a price determined by her weight in gold. Fate was not so kind to others. Charlie Anderson lost his fortune when a 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire destroyed his real estate holdings. When he died in 1939, he was pushing a wheelbarrow as a day laborer. Antone Stander built Seattle’s Stander Hotel before liquidating his fortune in alcohol. Pat Galvin lost his fortune buying riverboats that sank.

Wyatt Earp reached the Klondike in 1898, and he lucked out at the next gold stampede the following year. Wyatt joined the prospectors setting up their tents and mining equipment in Nome, Alaska (see view at top), where beaches contained vast amounts of gold mixed in the sands. He stands in the middle of Norwegian frontiersman Ed Englestadt (at left) and a friend from his O.K. Corral days in Tombstone, Arizona Territory, former Tombstone Epitaph editor John Clum (at right), who ran Nome’s postal service. – EARP PHOTO TRUE WEST ARCHIVES; NOME PHOTO COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

Within three years, the stampede had ended. A fire broke out on April 26, 1899, in a saloon, while the fire brigade was on strike, and burned down 117 structures. Word came of a new gold strike in Nome. Dawson became a shell of its former self. The Klondike Gold Rush was over. 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.

Raise your glass to the gold rush Sourdoughs 150 years after the Alaska Purchase! – TRUE WEST ARCHIVES –

A TO AST TO G O L D : 1 5 0 YE A R S L AT E R Raise your glass to the Sourdoughs in saloons across Alaska this year. Even more visitors are expected to take in Alaska’s frontier charms during this 150th anniversary year marking the U.S. purchase of Alaska from Russia, for $7.2 million—approximately $120 billion today. Quite the government scandal! The fur seal revenue possibly brought in an embarrassing $300,000 annually (oil and gas riches eventually trickled out of the earth, starting in the 1950s). Back in 1897, though, Alaska revealed a glimmer of its mineral riches when gold fever struck. The following saloons, which pioneers patronized during the territory’s earliest gold rushes, are good places to stop as you revisit Alaska’s first years under the U.S. flag. Imperial Saloon (Juneau, est. 1891): Toast a drink to Juneau’s founders, Richard Harris and Joe Juneau, prospectors whose gold discovery in 1880 inspired mineral exploration that would lead to the grand Klondike discovery. Seaview Inn & Bar (Hope, est. 1893) / Salty Dawg Saloon (Homer, est. 1896): Grab a drink where the Sourdoughs got their first rush of competition from Americans who poured into Turnagain Arm to find gold in the Klondike region of the Yukon in northwestern Canada. Copper Center Inn Bar (Copper Center, est. 1896): When you sit in this roadhouse on the way to the Klondike, you can just imagine the gold promoters ready to lead parties to supposed goldfields, only to abandon them and run off with their money. Red Onion Saloon (Skagway, est. 1898): This authentic gold rush bar may have opened as the Klondike was winding down, but the prospectors never stopped coming. Skagway served as a point of departure for gold rushes in Circle (1896), Coldfoot (1899) and Fairbanks (1902), and the continual gold rush in the Forty Mile Country. Board of Trade Saloon (Nome, est. 1900): Wyatt Earp, who made his money mining the miners in a saloon he co-owned, the Dexter, would have walked Nome’s boardwalks and possibly checked in on this saloon competitor before he left behind his Alaskan adventure.





The Birth of a Wicked Son Reimagined A researcher has pinpointed deadly gunfighter John Wesley Hardin’s true birthplace.

Shown here at the end of a cattle drive in Abilene, Kansas, in 1871, John Wesley Hardin would be pleased to learn that Longhorn cattle graze today on the land where he was born—which is not in Bonham! – COURTESY ROBERT G. MCCUBBIN COLLECTION –




otorious gunfighter John Wesley Hardin was in the midst of writing about the bloody career surrounding his life story when lawman John Selman killed him at the Acme Saloon in El Paso, Texas, on the night of August 19, 1895. John’s children inherited his estate, which included his autobiography. It was published in book form and titled The Life of John Wesley Hardin, as written by himself. He misrepresented himself many times throughout the book, starting with his opening statement, which read: “I was born in Bonham, Fannin county, Texas, on the 26th of May, 1853.” But the deadly gunman was not born in Bonham. Researchers set forth to figure out the true birthplace, beyond the grave.

The Reverend’s Farm John’s father was James Gibson Hardin, a circuit-riding Methodist preacher, family man and American Indian fighter. He was born on March 2, 1823, and grew up in

Wayne County, Tennessee. He married Elizabeth Dixon in Navarro County, Texas, in 1847. They moved to Fannin County, where their first son, Joseph, was born in 1850. The Rev. Hardin died, at the age of 53, in August 1876 and was buried in an unknown grave somewhere in Red River County. When Dr. Richard C. Marohn’s biography The Last Gunfighter: John Wesley Hardin was published in 1995, the 100th anniversary year of Hardin’s death, readers learned: “apparently, Hardin was born near Blair Springs on Bois d’ Arc Creek, near Orangeville.” The biographer derived that information from a communication by Cleburne Hardin dated February 7, 1984. Cleburne was the son of Jefferson Davis and Mary Taylor Hardin; Jeff was John’s younger brother. Yet the location of the farm has been elusive for years. Ronnie Atnip, a real estate agent and Fannin County Historical Commission president, diligently searched for the site. One day in 1995, Atnip met Tom Scott, who had been given a copy of an old deed

indicating James G. Hardin, John’s father, had bought a farm in Fannin County; the deed also referenced a church. Atnip knew Fannin County well, as he had located land many times for prospective buyers. Being a historian and Western history fan, he took it as a challenge to try and pinpoint the Hardin farm. He also wondered if that was John’s birthplace. Scott told Atnip that the land was out of the Lindsey Survey and was located somewhere east of Randolph. That turned out to be the wrong area. Research revealed that the Rev. Hardin purchased 129 acres on August 7, 1852, just nine months prior to John’s birth. A little over two miles east of present-day Whitewright, 10 or more miles west of Bonham, the land was part of the William Rice Survey. A man named Anderson hired William F. Lindsey to conduct the survey. This resulted in the deed being misfiled as the Lindsey Survey at the county courthouse. Adding to the

confusion, the deed renamed Blair Springs Creek as Lindsey Springs Creek. The Rev. Hardin built a Methodist church on the southwest corner of his farm near Blair Springs Creek, not Bois d’ Arc Creek, as Cleburne had told Marohn. Bois d’ Arc runs on the north side of the property. The church, which also functioned as a school and the Hardin home, was built out of logs and located in the middle of four large pecan trees. Atnip found the huge 143-year-old pecan trees in 1995, located just where they had been in 1852. They can easily be seen from Farm to Market Road 151, just east of Whitewright. The Rev. Hardin took a year off from his circuit riding until son John was born. The family moved shortly afterwards; John may have been told he was born near Bonham since Whitewright did not exist until years after his birth. The Orangeville referenced by Cleburne was the closest settlement during the 1850s.

This map shows the exact spot where the Rev. James G. Hardin’s farm was located. Within the square of Pecan trees was an earlyday Methodist church that also served as a school and living quarters for the Hardin family.

Born on David Crockett’s Camp Site Atnip made two aerial views to pinpoint the farm. As a Fannin County historian, he knew that the spot he pinpointed as the Rev. Hardin’s farm was a historic camp site for Indians, travelers, buffalo hunters and Texas Rangers. It was also the spot where famed Alamo defender David Crockett camped and traded the long rifle he brought from Tennessee for one with a shorter barrel before riding out to the area known today as Ozona.

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This is the earliest known photo of the Rev. James G. Hardin, John’s father, whose farm deed had been misfiled and created confusion for historians who sought to find John’s true birthplace. – COURTESY ROBERT G. MCCUBBIN COLLECTION –

Ronnie Atnip solved the mystery of John Wesley Hardin’s birthplace by locating the Rev. James G. Hardin’s farm. In this 1995 photo, he stands by one of the old Pecan trees mentioned in the deed. All four Pecan trees were still standing nearly 150 years after the gunfighter’s birth.

“Years later, the owner of the long rifle donated it to the Alamo museum [in San Antonio], and that rifle is on display. It was never used fighting Santa Anna, and even if it had, it would have been confiscated or destroyed by the Mexicans. The man who donated Crockett’s rifle lived in Whitewright,” Atnip says. Atnip personalized his search for Hardin’s birthplace by reading the entries of a scrapbook owned by the Rev. John W. Connelly, a captain of combat troops during the Civil War. After the war, he




spent years teaching and preaching to the Choctaws in Indian Territory and was nicknamed “Old Choc.” In the scrapbook, Connelly noted how James G. Hardin became one of the early-day Methodist preachers to be heard in the state of Texas. The state’s oldest Methodist church, organized in 1833, is McMahan’s Chapel, a few miles east of San Augustine.

John Wesley Hardin’s younger brother Jeff sits with son Joe on his lap, next to his wife, Mary, and their son Cleve (Cleburne). Since Jeff died in a gunfight in 1901, Mary must have been the one who told Cleburne that Uncle John Wesley was born along Bois d’ Arc Creek near Orangeville, Texas, in Fannin County. – ALL PHOTOS COURTESY NORMAN WAYNE BROWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED –

A GRAVE DISCOVERY Billy Dixon burial site located in another part of Texas. When Ronnie Atnip returned on another field trip, he was drawn to the Sears-Doss Cemetery located near the Hardin farm. To his surprise, Atnip found the headstone for Billy Dixon’s grave. Billy was killed as a teenager in 1868 during the post-Civil War Lee-Peaco*ck feud. Connelly didn’t shy from his opinions. He pointed out that the Rev. Hardin was “Luke warm” when preaching of fire and brimstone. He added: “Reverend Hardin’s wife Elizabeth was a most elegant Christian women. They furnish an illustration of the fact that very pious parents sometimes raise very wicked sons.” His most monumental statement: “the first Methodist preacher I ever heard in the state was Rev. Hardin, father of the notorious John Wesley Hardin. He was living in that old school house at the time and in it John Wesley Hardin first opened his eyes upon this world.”

The Cows Came Home Atnip’s discovery that the notorious gunfighter’s birthplace was actually

a settlement that came to be called Whitewright hit the headlines of the Bonham newspaper and word spread. During the research phase of A Lawless Breed, a fresh biography on Hardin written by me and Chuck Parsons, Chuck made a field trip to the Hardin home site and nearby cemetery. The property is adjacent to a registered Longhorn cattle ranch. John, being a pioneer cattle trail driver on the Chisholm Trail to Abilene, Kansas, would be proud knowing Longhorn cattle are grazing peacefully around his first home, even though he will mainly be remembered, not for his cowboy career, but as one of the most deadly of early Western gunfighters. Norman Wayne Brown is the coauthor of A Lawless Breed: John Wesley Hardin, Texas Reconstruction, and Violence in the Wild West. He will be signing books on April 7-8 at the West Texas Historical Association meeting in Lubbock.

Hardin historians believed Billy was buried in another area of Texas...until Atnip solved the mystery. In the above photo, he stands with one of those historians, Chuck Parsons (at left), at Billy’s grave. Billy and brother Simp were said to be John Wesley Hardin’s cousins, according to the gunfighter’s autobiography. But his statement has been proven false, with no known link to his mother’s Dixon family. Although beyond proving today, Hardin is suspected to be among the men who killed Billy’s murderer, Unionist Lewis Peaco*ck. T R U E



By Tom Jonas

Finding the Great Canyon On the Gila River

U n R a V E l i n g T H E m Y S T E RY b E H i n d S E T H EaSTman’ S waTERcoloR fRom THE fiRST U . S . - m E x i c o b o U n d a RY S U R V E Y.


he dramatic Seth Eastman watercolor of a canyon on the Gila River of Arizona, circa 1853, is familiar to many students of Western exploration in general and of the first United States and Mexico Boundary Survey, 1849-1853, in particular. It is titled simply, Great Canyon Rio Gila, with little hint of its precise location. On October 26, 1851, two days after he mentions passing the San Francisco River, boundary surveyor Amiel Whipple records in his diary a crude pencil sketch of the same scene. Based on this, the presumed location of the sketch and watercolor was, until recently, assumed to be somewhere in the Gila Box wilderness, west of the mouth of the San Francisco River, about six miles south of Morenci, Arizona. The San Francisco River empties into the Gila a scant 19 miles from the eastern

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edge of the State of Arizona. This reach of the Gila has been protected since 1990 within the Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area. Vehicular access is permitted at only three camping areas, but kayak, raft and canoe floaters are allowed. Curiously, although scholars accepted the Gila Box as the location of the drawing, no one visited the site to

make a modern photograph or record its exact position on the river.

THE SURVEY After the Mexican-American War ended in 1848, the agreed-upon boundary between the United States and Mexico was the Gila River across most of modern Arizona. The U.S. appointed John Russell

Until recently, the location recorded in this 1851 field sketch (left) in surveyor Amiel Whipple’s diary was unknown. Seth Eastman based his circa 1853 watercolor (opposite page) on the field sketch. A study of surveyor diaries and a hike down the temporarily-dry Gila River bed revealed the site: the narrowest point in the Gila River canyon, at Needles Eye Wilderness Area, south of Globe 0 d, Arizona (below). – SKETCH COURTESY JOHN CARTER BROWN LIBRARY AT BROWN UNIVERSITY; WATERCOLOR COURTESY MUSEUM OF ART, RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL OF DESIGN, GIFT OF THE RISD LIBRARY, PHOTOGRAPHY BY DEL BOGART, 47.112.9; PHOTO BY TOM JONAS –

Bartlett, a New York book dealer from Providence, Rhode Island, and a gifted artist, commissioner for the official survey of the new boundary between the U.S. and Mexico. He accompanied the field crews for part of the journey, but much of his tenure was spent exploring Mexico and California—areas not related to his duties. The Seth Eastman watercolor is somewhat puzzling because Eastman, a U.S. Army officer, was not with the survey crew during their work in the Southwest. To add to the mystery, Bartlett made a sketch of the scene that is almost identical to the watercolor, but Bartlett was never at the location either. So, we are left with the mystery of who made the original detailed sketch at the scene. One theory is that the image was based on Whipple’s crude diary sketch, which was later formalized by Bartlett and then used as the basis for Eastman’s watercolor. In 2002, Oklahoma historian Dr. David H. Miller sent me his typescript of Lt.

Amiel Whipple’s diary and suggested that we try to find the location of the Eastman watercolor. This is a location of interest on the Gila River boundary survey because the canyon became impassable and the survey had to be interrupted here and picked up again downstream. Upon examining Lt. Whipple’s diary, we found that the boundary surveyors did not travel through the Gila Box at all, but began the Gila River portion of their survey northwest of modern-day Safford, some 30 river miles west of the San Francisco River and Clifton/Morenci. We soon realized that the “San Francisco River” described by the surveyors in 1851 is not the present one near Clifton, but is instead the stream we know as the San Carlos River, about 24 miles southeast of

Globe and seven miles east of Coolidge Dam. Based on that determination, we expected the Eastman view to be somewhere downstream from Coolidge Dam. The next step was to find it.

THE SEARCH On our first visit, we examined the first few miles below Coolidge Dam. Since we were in an SUV, we could investigate only the first four miles of the canyon. We hiked a little beyond that, but the scene we sought was not there, and the river flow made further exploration difficult.




Our Apache companion advised us to return in the fall, when the water flow from Coolidge Dam is shut off for maintenance. During that time, we would be able to walk down a relatively dry river bed downstream of the dam. For our second trip, in November 2003, we were accompanied by Dr. Jerry E. Mueller, a geomorphologist and authority on Bartlett, and Dr. Harry Hewitt, a history professor. We drove down the canyon as far as we could and then continued downstream on foot. I carried with me a print of the Great Canyon watercolor and a copy of Whipple’s diary so we could compare the historical account with the modern canyon scenery. After following the serpentine course of the river canyon on foot for about twoand-a-half miles, we began to see the tops of the canyon walls ahead that resembled the Eastman view. We were about 20 miles southeast of Globe, Arizona, in the heart of the Bureau of Land Management’s Needle’s Eye Wilderness Area. Finally, we turned an angle of the canyon, and the full scene came into view about a mile ahead. We had not expected this: when we saw the real scene, we discovered that Eastman’s watercolor was almost photographically accurate! How could artworks by two men who had never been at the scene be so precise? Someone in the canyon that day made a careful, detailed sketch of the scene. Who was it? A notation in Whipple’s diary identifies the likely artist. Whipple wrote at the scene, “The sketch by Mr. Wheaton shows the present termination of the survey.”

THE IMAGE Historians are confused about which sketch Lt. Whipple refers to, since a crude drawing of the same scene appears on the opposite page of his diary, and several other drawings, in a similar untrained style, are included in his diary, to illustrate the people and places he wrote about. I believe that the sketch that Whipple refers to is a formal pencil sketch drawn by




Frank Wheaton studied civil engineering at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, but dropped out in 1850, at the age of 17, to work on the U.S.-Mexico Boundary Commission. After five years of service, he became a cavalry lieutenant assigned to duty on the Missouri and Kansas border. His campaigns against Cheyennes and in the Utah War resulted in his promotion to captain in 1861. – COURTESY HERITAGE AUCTIONS, DECEMBER 12, 2014 –

survey assistant Frank Wheaton to record the appearance of the place as part of the official survey. In fact, in the lower right corner of Whipple’s diary sketch, he shows a man sitting on a rock—perhaps Wheaton making his drawing. The original of this field illustration has not been located, but a copy of it appears on the first page of one of Commissioner Bartlett’s sketchbooks. Bartlett noted on the drawing that it was a “sketch for Frank Wheaton.” It appears that Bartlett made a copy of the field drawing for its original creator, and for himself, before submitting it with the final survey report. A copy eventually came into the hands of painter Eastman, who used it to create his beautiful watercolor painting a couple of years later.

This was not a photographic camera, which would have been difficult to transport and use in the wilderness in that day. Bartlett had procured a camera lucida as part of the equipment for the surveying expedition. This optical instrument would assist a person, with or without artistic talent, in making a faithful drawing of any scene. The view in the sketch and watercolor looks westward between thousand-foot

THE CAMERA Wheaton, a civil engineer by trade, was one of Lt. Whipple’s assistants on the astronomical arm of the survey crew. How did Wheaton create such an accurate image? He probably used a camera of sorts.

This illustration of an artist drawing a small figurine with the help of a camera lucida demonstrates how the equipment was used while the surveyors explored what was, in 1851, New Mexico Territory. – PUBLISHED IN SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT, JANUARY 11, 1879 –

Amiel Whipple included another sketch of the scene (inset) in his diary. The boundary surveyor would go on to fight in the Civil War, as a Union brigadier general. After a sharpshooter wounded him during the Battle of Chancellorsville, he died several days later, on May 7, 1863. – SKETCH COURTESY OKLAHOMA HISTORICAL SOCIETY RESEARCH DIVISION, AMIEL WEEKS WHIPPLE COLLECTION; PHOTO COURTESY HERITAGE AUCTIONS, DECEMBER 12, 2014 –

cliffs at the narrowest part of the Gila River Canyon, 8.5 river miles below Coolidge Dam. The boulder-choked canyon narrows to less than 100 feet wide here (Whipple reports it as 30 feet), making passage difficult to impossible by foot, horseback or even boat, a conclusion suggested by the shredded remains of a rubber raft on the rocks when we visited in 2003.

THE TRAILS Since the surveyors could proceed no farther downstream, they took to the hills north of the river and followed a long detour through the Mescal Mountains, reaching the Gila again, a week later, at the mouth of Dripping Springs Wash. They were forced to take sightings from a distance to plot the approximate course of the river in the inaccessible portion. Interestingly, Eastman’s watercolor shows the stream flowing toward the viewer, when, in reality, the river flows away from the viewer at the site. Eastman would not have known this since he

had never been there. He must have added the flowing water for artistic effect. Fur trapper James Ohio Pattie had visited this canyon in February 1826 and apparently took a similar detour through the mountains after finding the river blocked. In 1846, just a few years before the boundary survey expedition, a small army under Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny arrived in the area. The guide, Kit Carson, led the men on a different detour, through the mountains, on their march of conquest to California. The soldiers did not travel to the Needle’s Eye; Carson instead chose an upstream detour, because he knew of the river blockage ahead, having trapped the river years earlier with Ewing Young. Although several historic expeditions passed through and around the canyon, adventurers soon developed better routes through the mountains, leaving the remote chasm largely undeveloped and more or less forgotten. Consequently, the knowledge of the location of Eastman’s beautiful canyon landscape faded into obscurity.


boundary of Arizona and the United States. At the conclusion of the MexicanAmerican War, in addition to the new international boundary along the Gila River, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo provided for the construction of a railroad within one marine league (about three miles) of either side of the Gila River. This railroad was planned as a way to provide all-season transportation to and from southern California, with minimal construction costs. The Gila River survey and the accompanying canyon sketch proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that building the railroad in that location would be impossible. Proponents of a southern route for the transcontinental railroad then began a push to acquire more land south of the river, which eventually led to the Gadsden Purchase of 1853, adding more than 29,000 square miles to what is now southern Arizona and New Mexico. Without the rugged mountains and canyons on the Gila River documented by the boundary surveyors, southern Arizona might still be a part of Sonora. Cartographer Tom Jonas specializes in 19thcentury trail research in Arizona and the Southwest, cartographic analysis and custom historical mapping.

The impassable canyon played an important role in shaping the modern




AUGUST 19, 1884





roke, sick and usually drunk, Doc Holliday hits rock bottom in Leadville, Colorado. Today, a fellow gambler, Billy Allen, is demanding Doc repay a $5 loan by noon, “or else.” The $5 was a pretext. Doc was the target of a group of gamblers. Afraid for his life, Doc goes to his room at 405 Harrison and retrieves his pistol (variously described as a Colt .41 or .44). He hands off the gun to someone, possibly his gambling pal Pat Sweeney, who takes it to Mannie Hyman’s saloon at 316 Harrison. As it is against the law to carry the weapon inside, that person stores Doc’s pistol for him under the bar. When Holliday reaches the saloon, he waits nervously by a cigar case

next to the bar. He has already told the police about the situation, but he is worried Allen will catch up to him first. After a shoe shine, Allen enters Hyman’s at about five p.m. with his hand suspiciously in his pocket. Doc quickly reaches down, grabs his pistol, leans over the cigar case and fires. The first bullet hits the door casing above Allen, who turns to run, but trips and falls forward. Allen is flopping on the floor when a second shot hits him in the right arm, halfway between the shoulder and the elbow. Bartender Henry Kellerman leaps over the bar and grabs Doc as he attempts to get off a third shot. Police Capt. Edward Bradbury comes running in, shouting, “Doc, I want your gun!” Doc surrenders his pistol to the captain, who arrests him.



Mannie Hyman

By the time he hits Leadville, Doc Holliday, 33, is white-haired, wheezy, stoopshouldered and walks with a cane. – ILLUSTRATIONS BY BOB BOZE BELL –

BY BOB BOZE BELL Based on the research of Gary L. Roberts T R U E



Mannie Hyman’s saloon is where Doc Holliday’s last gunfight takes place. Leadville puts Tombstone, Arizona Territory, in the shade, with its 120 saloons, 118 gambling halls, 110 beer gardens and 35 brothels. Check out the contraption on the boardwalk next to the clock. That’s an early electric meter; Leadville first got electricity in 1883! – TRUE WEST ARCHIVES –

Aftermath: Odds & Ends Arrested on a charge of “assault with the intent to kill,” Doc Holliday sat in the city jail until two friends signed his $5,000 bail bond. The police, meanwhile, made a “quiet raid upon everybody who carries concealed weapons,” reported the Daily Democrat on August 22.

Arriving in Colorado as a fugitive from Arizona in April 1882, Doc bounced around the state for five years, mostly by train, and hit many of the boomtowns, including Denver, Silverton, Pueblo, Trinidad, Cripple Creek, Leadville and, his final stop, Glenwood Springs.

At the preliminary hearing on August 25, Holliday testified he shot Billy Allen, adding, “I knew that I would be a child in his hands if he got hold of me; I weigh 122 pounds; I think Allen weighs 170 pounds.” The judge assigned the doc’s case to criminal court and raised his bail to $8,000, only to reduce it to $5,000, due to the doc’s poor health. Even so, Holliday had to wait in jail for over a week before his friends posted his bail. He was released the night of September 6.

The judge had scheduled the court date for December 23, but Holliday’s lawyers successfully got a continuance until spring. The trial began March 21, 1885, almost three years to the day that Holliday and Wyatt Earp had confronted Curly Bill Brocius at Mescal Springs. After a short deliberation, the jury acquitted Holliday on the grounds that Allen’s threats had justified the shooting.

Allen apparently never got his $5. He remained in Leadville for a time before moving to Garfield County, where he served as a scout during the Ute troubles in 1887. After stints in Chicago and Salt Lake City, Allen joined one of the Oklahoma land rushes, then settled in Cripple Creek, Colorado, where he became fire chief. In 1898, he went to Alaska, where he was appointed fire marshal and, later, deputy U.S. marshal in Nome. Coincidentally, he arrested Holliday’s pal, Wyatt Earp, who was in Nome running the Dexter Saloon. Allen died in Orting, Washington, in 1941. A reporter caught up with Doc in Leadville: “He is a thin, spare looking man; his iron gray hair is always well combed and oiled; his boots usually wear an immaculate polish; his beautiful scarf, with an elegant diamond pin in the center, looks well on his glossy shirt front.... He usually talks in a very low tone.... In his pocket he always carries a beautiful, silver-mounted revolver, 45 caliber, and while talking to a stranger, his right arm restlessly wanders in that vicinity.”

Recommended: Doc Holliday: The Life and Legend by Gary L. Roberts, published by John Wiley & Sons.



Bucking Broncos and Breaking Barriers Chief Joseph’s nephew brought diversity into the rodeo arena.

Jackson Sundown became the first American Indian to earn a world championship title as a bronco buster. He stands here, in the 1916 Pendleton Round-Up arena, next to third-place winner “Bronco” Bob Hall and second-place winner Rufus Rollins. – ALL IMAGES COURTESY DICKINSON RESEARCH CENTER, NATIONAL COWBOY & WESTERN HERITAGE MUSEUM / ABOVE: DON BELL COLLECTION, 2001.032.003 –


tereotypical pairings often plague the American West. Outlaws and lawmen. War bonnets and Winchesters. Cattle drives and wagon trains. None, however, is more engrained than cowboys and Indians. For decades, these adversaries have dueled on the pages of books, the screens of cinema and television, and in backyards and schoolyards across the U.S. and beyond. But the “cowboys and Indians” pairing promotes a false distinction; they were not always at odds. Nez Perce bronco buster Jackson Sundown exemplifies this. Born Waaya-Tonah-Toesits-Kahn around 1863, a nephew to famous Chief Joseph, Sundown spent his childhood on and around horses. As a teen, he saw the conflict between his tribe and the federal government erupt in the Nez Perce War of 1877. Surviving the Battle of Big Hole despite his wounds, he lived in Canada before settling




on the Flathead Reservation in Montana Territory. Sundown gained a reputation for his riding skills and began competing locally. When he tried his hand at the Pendleton Round-Up in Oregon, he was already in his late 40s, yet he bested many of the younger entrants and reportedly rode some broncos until they surrendered into standstills. Sundown’s talent combined with his showmanship and orange angora chaps made him a crowd favorite and endeared him to his competitors. Yakima Canutt called him a “...great man—well respected, friendly, proud, and intelligent.” With grit and determination, he rode at Pendleton year after year, coming close, but never winning the coveted title. Finally in 1916, at around the age of 53, Sundown rode Casey Jones, Wiggles and Angel to victory and became the first American Indian Bronco Buster of the World. “Before 30,000 people, yesterday the largest single day attendance since Pendleton began staging her famous frontier show, he [Jackson Sundown] proved his

right to the title...,” The Daily Capital Journal of Salem reported. “There was no question in the minds of the spectators at all.... A mighty cry of ‘Sundown, Sundown’ floated out from grandstand and bleachers and, when the judges’ decision was found to conform with their preference, pandemonium reigned. “Sundown was placed on his horse and rode slowly about the track. The crowd stood en masse, yelling, cheering and waving hats with wild enthusiasm. It was an ovation that a king might have envied....” He accepted the prize saddle and announced his retirement. The world champion spent his later years teaching his skill to children on the reservation, while also posing for artists and photographers. Seven years after his triumph, when Indians were still not considered to be American citizens, Sundown died of pneumonia at the age of 60. The barrier he broke in 1916 still resonates today. He was not a Nez Perce or a cowboy. He was a Nez Perce and a cowboy. A fourth-generation Oklahoman, Kimberly Roblin is the curator of Archival & Photographic Collections at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. She contributed to the Oklahoma Nonfiction Book of 2010, Thomas Gilcrease.

Photographed circa 1910, Jackson Sundown almost called it quits when he earned third place at the Pendleton Round-Up in 1915. Good thing he didn’t give up. His ride on the savvy outlaw bronco Angel (above) helped him earn the coveted silver saddle the next year. – 1910 photo courtesy Buck Wilkerson collection, r.255.04; 1916 photo courtesy photographic study collection, 2005.213 –


There’s Copper in Them Thar Hills New Mexico and Arizona’s mining towns celebrate their glorious past.

In 1880, miners and emigrants came from across the country and around the world to work deep underground in the Old Dominion Mine of Globe, Arizona, one of 35 mines in the rich ore deposits of the Pinal Mountains. Within the first decade, the Old Dominion extracted over 22 million tons of copper ore, and while the mine has been closed for decades, copper mining is still a major industry in the Globe-Miami area. – COURTESY GILA COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM –





uthor Mike Anderson prefers talking about the legends who played at Warren Ballpark in Bisbee, Arizona—Connie Mack, Honus Wagner, Jim Thorpe and others—but America’s oldest multisport facility (it opened in 1909) hasn’t always been used for baseball. A century ago—in July 1917—Warren Ballpark became a detention center after vigilantes rounded up 1,500 striking copper miners and began the infamous Bisbee Deportation. The more than 1,100 miners

who refused to return to work were forced at gunpoint into cattle cars and sent into the desert, and were eventually unloaded near Hermanas, New Mexico. “No search warrant,” Anderson says. “No court order. No trial. No legal process.” This history of copper mining in New Mexico and Arizona isn’t always pleasant, but it’s definitely rich.

New Mexico Start in Hurley, the so-called “Gateway to Copper Country” in western New Mexico.

Hurley didn’t begin until 1910 after Massachusetts-born John Murchison Sully formed the Chino Copper Company and brought open-pit mining to the territory. The mining company built the entire town. The Chino Pit, still open for view, wound up being 1,500 feet deep and 1.5 miles across, one of the world’s largest open pits near Santa Clara. This area of Hurley-Bayard-Santa Clara, however, was rich long before Sully arrived. In 1799, an Apache Indian showed a Spanish soldier named Jose Carrasco a copper deposit. Carrasco found Francisco Manuel Elguea, an entrepreneur from Chihuahua, who helped petition Spain for a land grant. A fort was erected in 1804 to protect the miners from Indians. Carrasco sold out to Elguea in 1804, after the Spanish had created Santa Rita del Cobre. Local historian Terry Humble writes, “It has been said that the metal in almost all of the copper coins minted in Spain and Mexico between 1800 and 1840 originated in Santa Rita.” You won’t find Santa Rita—just a historical marker in Santa Clara. As the Chino Pit expanded, Santa Rita disappeared. Santa Clara (it became Central City, then just


87 17



Silver City



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Santa Clara Bayard Hurley

Just 15 miles east of Silver City, the Chino Mine (above), also known as the Santa Rita Mine, was started in 1909. Today, FreeportMcMoRan actively mines copper from one of the nation’s richest ore deposits. – COURTESY NEW MEXICO DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM –


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The Santa Rita copper mines of Grant Coun ty, New Mexico, get their du e in a historical ma rker east of Hanover, near the int ersection of U.S. Hi ghway 180 and state Highway 152. The marker rea ds: “Copper has been mi ned here since 1804. For five years, development by Francisco Manu el Elguea resulted in some 6,0 00,000 pounds of cop per being transported annually to Mexico City by mu le train. Brief periods of activity we re halted by Apache opposition until the coming of the railroad in the 1880s, when the area became a major copper producer.”



part of a small detachment to persuade a band of renegade Apache Indians to surrender, his group was surrounded. Cpl. Greaves in the center of the savage handto-hand fighting, managed to shoot and bash a gap through the swarming Apaches, permitting his companions to break free.” A statue of Greaves stands at the Fort Bayard historic district.

Central) got its start when Fort Bayard was established 1866. Before the fort closed at the turn of the century, Bayard had been home to Gens. George Crook and John J. Pershing, and Medal of Honor recipient, Cpl. Clinton Greaves. Who’s Greaves? He was serving in the 9th Cavalry in the Florida Mountains on January 24, 1877, when, according to his official citation, “…While

40 Scale in Miles




map by




Fort Bayard (left) was built in 1866 to protect the growing mining districts and ranching communities of southwestern New Mexico. Today, the national historic landmark is the subject of major preservation efforts. The museum is open on Saturdays only. – JOE BURGESS, COURTESY NATIONAL ARCHIVES RECORD ADMINISTRATION, 7722527 –

Founded in 1878, Silver City’s city hall stands as a testament to the wealth and heritage of copper mining in the center of the historical district of the southwestern New Mexico city. – COURTESY SILVER CITY CVB –

Which brings us to Silver City. Yes, there’s more than copper here. Silver, naturally, led to the founding of Silver City in the 1870s, which brought Billy the Kid’s mother, and Billy, too, to town. But the city grew to become the capital of the copper district, and the Silver City and the Western New Mexico University museums are excellent




places to learn the area’s diverse history. But keep this in mind: That log cabin next to the visitor’s center isn’t Billy the Kid’s boyhood home. It’s a set from The Missing, a lousy Western with nothing to do with Silver City, Billy the Kid or copper.Copper

has taken a dive in recent years, but this district offers a wealth for history-lovers. As author Bob Alexander writes in Six-Guns and Single-Jacks: A History of Silver City: “Silver City got short shrift in the Western annals devoted to frontier hot spots. Silver City and her outlying suburbs were a quintessential model for all that a first-class Western town had to offer—good and bad.”

On November 12, 1897, the Masonic Grand Lodge of Arizona held a meeting in Bisbee’s Queen Mine of the Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Company. – A. Miller, Courtesy librAry of Congress –

Arizona Arizona also has a shining history regarding copper. Take Globe, for instance. “Arizona’s copper industry became an economic force in the 1870s as mining gained prominence in the post-Civil War economy of the Southwest,” Phylis Cancilla Martinelli writes in Undermining Race: Ethnic Identities in Arizona Copper Camps, 1880-1920. “Arizona Territory was destined to be a bright star in the western constellation of copper camps after obstructions to mining ventures were resolved.” Those obstructions were Indians, of course, and a lack of water. Miners began

staking claims in the Pinal Mountains as early as 1870, but Globe wasn’t established until the Apaches had been driven out around 1876. Globe started as a silver town but quickly discovered copper more profitable. Still a mining town, Globe also offers plenty for

history buffs, including Besh-Ba-Gowah Archaeological Park, a 700-year-old Salado Culture pueblo; and the Gila County Historical Museum. Globe’s sister cities, Miami and Claypool, also experienced the copper rush, drawing miners in the 1880s and seeing an even


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Globe’s Old Dominion copper mine operated from 1881 to 1931. Today, visitors to the city can tour the mine’s above-ground site at the Old Dominion Historic Mine Park. – COURTESY GILA COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM –





larger rush in the early 1900s. Check out Bullion Plaza Cultural Center and Museum in Miami and mounds and mounds of copper tailings. The coolest of Arizona’s copper towns might be Jerome, practically a mile high atop Cleopatra Hill. Jerome began as a tent city when copper was discovered in 1876, but grew into the territory’s fourthlargest city. Jerome “has found foothold on a mountain side, 2000 feet above the valley of the Verde, and not even a burro can climb the hill except by the ‘switch back’ method,” journalist Paul Hull wrote in 1899. “From its dizzy height is presented a scene of splendid solitude—of magnificent loneliness.” It hasn’t changed much today. By the 1920s, Jerome boasted 15,000 people (although I don’t know how they all fit there). Phelps Dodge shut down its mine in 1953, but Jerome found new life as a tourist-arts town. Check out the Jerome Historical Society Mine Museum, Gold King Mine and Ghost Town, and Douglas Mansion State Park. Down south, Ajo is among the Southwest’s oldest copper towns. Although Spaniards mined here as early as 1750, the copper strikes really began in the late 1840s. Still, it took the Southern Pacific Railroad’s arrival at Gila Bend in 1879 and the coming of electric power

(thus, a need for copper wires) to lead to better copper-mining ventures. Even then, only roughly 1.7 million pounds of copper were hauled out a year from the 1880s till 1917. From World War I until the Great Depression, copper mining exploded, and Ajo boomed. But copper prices are fickle, and the last mine closed in 1984. Today, Ajo has bright spots

Into the depths: Touring the Queen Mine

Few Southwestern copper mines have a history that matches the Queen Mine in Bisbee, Arizona. It started with a double-cross, when an Army lieutenant named Jack Dunn found color while scouting for Apaches. He struck up a deal with miner George Warren, but Warren got drunk, found some new partners, and left Dunn with nothing. The mine became the Queen Mine, and from around 1880 until 1975, it turned out more than 8 billion pounds of copper, 2.8 million ounces of gold, 77 million ounces of silver, 304 million pounds of lead and 371 million pounds of zinc. Since February 1976, the mine’s riches come in the form of historical tours. Outfitted with hard hats, headlamps and slickers, tourists young and old are taken 1,500 feet into the mine, where retired Phelps Dodge employees provide personal insight into copper mining. The tour guides won’t double-cross you, either.


CELEBRATIONS & EVENTS The Douglas Mansion, the family home of copper mining entrepreneur James S. Douglas was built in 1916, and today is the centerpiece of Jerome State Historic Park’s mining museum, just above Douglas’s Little Daisy Mine. – COURTESY JEROME STATE HISTORIC PARK –

such as St. Catherine’s Indian School (now home to the Ajo Historical Society Museum), a scenic loop and its Spanish Colonial Revival style plaza, built in 1917. And it’s on the way to the amazing Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, just 30 miles south. A similar story can be found in Bisbee, which survived after the copper collapse as a tourist-arts-Wild West town. Bisbee boasted a population of more than 20,000 in its heyday. It was home to Arizona’s first golf course (Turquoise Valley) and Arizona’s first community library (Copper Queen). It was also home to Brewery Gulch, with some 50 saloons and assorted brothels. Many saloons are still there, but no brothels. The library and golf course are still there, too. And, of course, so is Warren Ballpark, with all its history. Copper, after all, brought baseball to Bisbee. Oh, the game was played long before, but when the suburb of Warren was laid out in 1906, a piece of level ground was reserved for a baseball field. Named for a “globe of silver” prospectors found in the area in 1875, Globe’s fortunes were built on massive copper veins discovered soon thereafter. The Cobre Valley Center for the Arts (center), housed in the former Gila County Courthouse, is a centerpiece of historic Globe. – COURTESY JIM LINDSTROM, ARIZONA OFFICE OF TOURISM –

Warren Ballpark went up, at a cost of $3,600, and a streetcar line was built to link the suburb (and its park) with Bisbee and other communities. The strikers of 1917, by the way, did not get to take the streetcar. Warren Ballpark wasn’t just for baseball— or a prison camp for striking workers. English immigrants played rugby there, and cricket, and even soccer. Circuses, rodeos and Wild West shows were staged there. “This place,” Anderson says, “is a real field of dreams.” Like most of the Southwest’s copper towns. Because he’ll believe anything, Johnny D. Boggs wears a copper bracelet to prevent carpal tunnel when he types.

W wild Wild West Pro Rodeo, Silver City, NM, May 31-June 3, 2017; Eighth Annual Copper City Classic Vintage Base Ball Tournament, Bisbee, AZ, April 8-9, 2017

PLACES TO VISIT Old Hurley Store, Hurley, NM; Pickle Barrel Trading Post , Globe, AZ; Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Ajo, AZ; Óptimo Hatworks, Bisbee, AZ; St. Elmo Bar, Bisbee, AZ

GOOD EATS & SLEEPS Best Grub: Alotta Gelato, Silver City, NM; Copper Hen Café & Bakery, Globe, AZ; Grapes Restaurant & Bar, Jerome, AZ; 100 Estrella Restaurant, Ajo, AZ; Screaming Banshee Pizza, Bisbee, AZ; Bisbee Breakfast Club, Bisbee, AZ Best Lodging: Palace Hotel, Silver City, NM; Dream Manor Inn, Globe, AZ; Connor Hotel, Jerome, AZ; La Siesta Motel & RV Resort, Ajo, AZ; Jonquil Motel, Bisbee, AZ

GOOD BOOKS, FILM & TV Best Reads: Santa Rita del Cobre: A Copper Mining Community in New Mexico by Christopher J. Huggard and Terrence M. Humble; Home Sweet Jerome: Death and Rebirth of Arizona’s Richest Copper Mining City by Diane Sward Rapaport; Bisbee: Queen of the Copper Camps by Lynn R. Bailey; Warren Ballpark by Mike Anderson; Silver City: A Novel of the American West by Jeff Guinn Best Film, Music and TV: Copper Canyon (Paramount, 1950); Salt of the Earth (Independent Productions, 1954); Geronimo: An American Legend (Columbia, 1993); Silver City (Newmarket, 2004)

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Picnics were a way for families to get together and enjoy the outdoors. This photo shows Sherry Monahan’s Great Aunt Ivan Elliott and her family, on a picnic near their home in Colorado Springs, Colorado. – COURTESY SHERRY MONAHAN –


s towns across the frontier West heated up during the spring and summer months, sweltering pioneers found ways to beat the heat at picnics. They cooled off by eating outside under a shade tree or covered porch, in the countryside or at a park. Those who lived near refreshing rivers, cool lakes and babbling brooks enjoyed waterside dining, swimming and boating. Picnics were mostly group affairs. Families, friends, businesses and civic organizations organized the al fresco meals. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote a comical story about picnics in 1896, reporting, “...the family picnic is held whenever ‘papa’ is seized with that particular yearning, generally attributed to the weather, to go out under the trees, far from the

madding crowd and communicate with nature as when a boy, or ‘mamma’ agrees with the children that fresh air away from the city is what they need, and that she needs rest herself. “‘Papa’ usually returns with a desire to commit murder if only he could summon strength to his exhausted frame and ‘mamma’ vows she’ll never leave home again. The picnic disease is most prevalent at exactly this time of the year.” The tasty treats, though, kept the picnic tradition strong. These included ham, tongue or lamb sandwiches, fried chicken, savory and sweet pies, cheese, pickles, olives, bread, butter, preserves, fruit, cakes, ice cream and ices, and lemonade. Teenagers sometimes shirked routine responsibilities to get this food in their

“‘Papa’ usually returns with a desire to commit murder...‘mamma’ vows she’ll never leave home again.”

bellies. Frank Dixon, of Hastings, Nebraska, recalled: “On Sundays [we] went to church or at least Sunday school.... In the summer we were a little slack on this as picnics down on the river were so much the go. Nearly everyone went and in big bunches.... We would hire a wagon or wagonette or hayrack, all chipping in. Then would buy pop or ice cream. Then the girls would furnish the eats. Ham and cheese sandwiches, pickles, hard boiled eggs and cakes.” The pioneers spread blankets or sheets on the ground and set up the picnic dishes for everyone to enjoy at their leisure. For entertainment, folks played cards and outdoor games, and danced to music played on banjos, trumpets or whatever instruments they had on hand. Mary Doom, who moved to Ashland, Nebraska, in 1856, remembered the fun times: “Big picnics and gatherings were held in the old park at Ashland with all kinds of games and speaking. The ladies would have nail driving contests, and the one who drove the most nails the quickest got a prize. The men and boys had potato races, sack races and foot races. The sack race was funny because they looked so awkward and often fell down.” After all the fun and games, and fights and tears, one turned to the cold picnic pie and cooled off from all the heat— internal and external—swirling about.

GLENWOOD’S L E G E N D 526 Pine St. • Glenwood Springs, CO (970) 945-6511

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.


1 lb. chicken or rabbit, boi led 1 cup thin spaghetti, coo ked 1 tablespoon parsley, fre shly chopped 1 cup heavy cream Salt and pepper to taste ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated 1 single pie crust Line a pie dish with the cru st. Thinly slice the meat. Mix meat well with the spaghetti, parsley, cream, and sal t and pepper. Pour into the pie shell and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake for around 35-45 minutes at 350°. Remove the pie fro m the oven as soon as the filling sets.

Recipe adapted from Kansas’ s The Leavenworth Weekly Times, August 18, 188 1 T R U E



n r e t s We



Frontier Justice for Sale

Stalking the elusive Western at the American Film Market.


or nearly 40 years, film distributors and filmmakers from around the world have annually converged in Santa Monica, California, to buy and sell independent films. More than $1 billion in deals will be sealed at the next gathering: November 1-8. The American Film Market (AFM) has often been dismissed as a Horror film market, and although that genre remains a large part of the convergence, practically every movie that doesn’t feature superheroes is packaged or financed or sold at AFM. Increasingly, that includes Westerns. About a dozen hit the market this winter. Producer Dallas Sonnier, whose Bone Tomahawk was NATHANIEL REED the surprise Western hit of 2016, is a fan of AFM. “I love walking around, seeing all the posters, running into friends. It’s a great way of getting everyone in that part of the business together.” The market was instrumental in getting Bone Tomahawk financed. “We were able to pre-sell major territories like Germany, France, the U.K. and Australia; we covered nearly half the budget from those sales. Kurt Russell is so well known for his role [as Wyatt Earp] in Tombstone, Country music superstar Trace Adkins (center) took on the role of real-life and there was a lot of interest in seeing his 19th-century outlaw Nathaniel Reed (inset) in Stagecoach: The Texas Jack Story. return to the Western genre.” Reed led a bandit gang that primarily robbed stagecoaches, trains and banks At last year’s AFM, producer Girard in the Rocky Mountains and Indian Territory. Swan of Cygnet Entertainment Group – ADKINS PHOTO COURTESY NASSER ENTERTAINMENT; REED PHOTO PUBLISHED IN THE LIFE OF TEXAS JACK , TULSA PRINTING COMPANY –







Jim Jarmusch’s 1995 otherworldly Western Dead Man, starring Johnny Depp, and Charles B. Pierce’s Boggy Creek movies inspired the Horror Western Kill or Be Killed, starring Justin Meeks (above) as Claude “Sweet Tooth” Barbee, a vicious gang leader searching Texas for buried gold. – COURTESY ARCHSTONE DISTRIBUTION –

was trying to finance Preacher, which he describes as a “violent but beautiful Western about a father’s bond with his daughter.” Swan is optimistic about getting Westerns made. “Under $3 million. Hollywood says you’re going to lose money if you make Westerns. But at this budget level, there’s definitely an audience for them.” His daughter and business associate Madison Swan has a theory on the resurgence of the Western. “We’re confused about morality; when we see a movie that puts it in black and white, or points out that it’s gray rather than black and white, in a context that’s cinematic and entertaining, it reinvigorates interest in a genre that would otherwise seem outdated.” Scott Martin, a partner in Archstone Distribution, handles the gritty Texaslensed Western Kill or Be Killed. “As a fi lmmaker, it’s been a goal to make Westerns, but until this resurgence, there hasn’t been the appetite for them. But we’re talking about doing them again— and I can’t wait!” he says. “But you have to either make them small, as best you can with the resources you have, or

you have to go big; there’s not a lot of middle ground.” When it comes to casting, Sonnier cautions, “it’s easier to sell a movie with Nicolas Cage or Val Kilmer at AFM, than with whoever’s on Variety’s ‘Actors to Watch’ list. Foreign markets are more interested in old-school actors.” Some fine actors’ faces were seen repeatedly on posters throughout AFM. Tarantino favorite Michael Madsen, in Fairway Film Alliance’s A Sierra Nevada Gunfight (a.k.a. The Sorrow), has appeared in dozens of feature films since 2015’s The Hateful Eight. Eric Roberts, who’s amassed more than 450 fi lm and TV credits, appears in Cardinal XD’s The Gunfighter (a.k.a Five Grand), by far one of the best Westerns at AFM, a movie so small that the only special effects the filmmakers could afford were talent and imagination. What money they spent, they spent wisely: Roberts is only in the first 10 minutes, but in a strong performance that sets up the plot. The filmmakers shot at that most iconic of California filming locations, Vasquez Rocks. The only scene


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Eric Roberts (above) paved the path for excellence in director and star Orson Ossman’s The Gunfighter. The plot focuses on a Pinkerton detective’s chase across open country for an outlaw who has killed a marshal and stolen his identity. – COURTESY CARDINAL XD –

with more than four people was filmed at Calico Ghost Town. One of the pleasures of AFM is the international scope of Westerns. Thailandbased Benetone Films’ The Runaway is a U.S.-shot contemporary Western. France’s BAC Films’ Western is Let the Corpses Tan, shot principally in Corsica, Italy. From Wanda Media Co. comes the Chinese Comedy Western For a Few Bullets. And Australian distributor Odin’s Eye Entertainment offers The Legend of Ben Hall—True West’s Best Foreign Western of the year. In the New Zealand-filmed The Stolen, a widow searches for her kidnapped baby. The cowboys ’n’ werewolves saga Blood Moon is set in the American West, but filmed at the Laredo Club’s Western town in Kent, England. One of the most intriguing foreign Westerns, Russian World Vision’s Fort Ross, is the time-traveling story of three


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Michael Madsen, who brings star power to the Western thriller A Sierra Nevada Gunfight (shown prominently in the poster), is a Doc Holliday fan. He wanted to play the gunfighting dentist in 1994’s Wyatt Earp, but Dennis Quaid already had the role; Madsen did the O.K. Corral walkdown as Virgil Earp.

young journalists determined to learn how Russia lost Alaska to the United States. Nasser Entertainment has made its own versions of Angel and the Bad Man, The Dawn Rider and The Virginian. This year’s Western is Stagecoach: The Texas Jack Story, starring Trace Adkins. Why do filmmakers keep coming back to the genre? “It’s an American classic, right?” Jake Nasser says. “And being citizens of Canada, all the great sets up there, the market dictated for us.” Jake’s brother Jack adds: “I watched Westerns as a kid with my dad. It’s where the passion comes from. We have two in development, a Calamity Jane project and a Butch Cassidy.” While the Western shows no immediate sign of taking over AFM entirely, it’s heartening that interest in the form, and the number being made, is on the rise.

DVD REVIEW ONE-EYED JACKS (Criterion Collection; $29.95) After languishing in unwatchable 99-cent copies, 1961’s One-Eyed Jacks, the last Vista Vision movie, has been restored by Criterion to near-3D glory. Abandoned to the rurales by his bankrobbing partner, Rio (Marlon Brando) escapes after five years to exact his revenge on Longworth (Karl Malden), now a lawman with a wife and stepdaughter. The only film directed by Brando, the Western is enthralling and features some of Ben Johnson’s and Slim Pickens’s finest work. Henry C. Parke is a screenwriter based in Los Angeles, California, who blogs about Western movies, TV, radio and print news:


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Guerrilla Warriors A bloody truth of the Civil War’s bushwhackers, and new histories about Alaskan frontier women, violent feuding Texans, a battle for paradise and firearms and the Indian frontier.

“Why do Americans seem more comfortable with ex-bushwhackers as gunslingers and cowboys and bank robbers than as participants in the war that saved the Union…?”

A century and a half after the Civil War, the romance and reality of Western outlaw history remains a favorite subject of historians, re-enactors, media mythmakers, museums and historical societies. Matthew Christopher Hulbert’s The Ghosts of Guerilla Memory: How Civil War Bushwhackers Became Gunslingers in the American West (University of Georgia Press, $84.95/$29.95), is a groundbreaking interdisciplinary history of the rise of American guerilla warfare in the MissouriKansas conflict in the years leading up to President Abraham Lincoln’s election in November 1860, and the role of guerilla fighters and bushwhackers throughout the War Between the States. Hulbert, a lecturer in the Texas A&M UniversityKingsville Department of History, Political Science and Philosophy, does not trap his research and conclusions in the 19th century, but pursues conclusions to his thesis from a 21st-century perspective. He writes: “How did The evolution of post-Civil War outlaws, including Missouri’s Jesse James— transforming them from sectional guerrilla fighters to Confederate raiders to banditry and popular culture fame—is explored in-depth in Matthew Christopher Hulbert’s The Ghosts of Guerilla Memory. – COURTESY ROBERT C. MCCUBBIN COLLECTION –




In The Ghosts of Guerilla Memory author Hulbert chronicles William C. Quantrill’s famous 1863 guerrilla attack on Lawrence, Kansas, and the subsequent history of his raiders after the Civil War—and the romantization of the raiders in popular culture. – COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

the relegation of the most infamous guerrillas to the realm of western pop culture affect guerrilla memory as a whole? Why do Americans seem more comfortable with ex-bushwhackers as gunslingers and cowboys and bank robbers than as participants in the war that saved the Union and emancipated millions of African American slaves?” These are ambitious questions for a young historian to pursue in his first major synthesis, yet Hulbert’s detailed and thoughtful research across numerous disciplines, genres and mediums, and his passionate interest in post-Civil War outlawry, provide new perspective on the role of mythmakers in our shared collective memory of Civil War guerrillas—as heroes and antiheroes in the real and imagined Wild West. As Hulbert writes, “To many of the men, women and children in Missouri and Kansas who took in and fought the Civil War from their porch steps, the guerrilla war and its aftermath represented the status quo as they knew it—and neither the signatures of Robert E. Lee and Joseph E. Johnston, nor the efforts of later partisan propagandists, could wipe clean such a backlog of intensely personal violence.” Writers, researchers and historians of Western history should read Hulbert’s wellresearched and thought-provoking public

history study of America’s mostmisunderstood war within a war—and how those border warriors, guerrilla soldiers and lawless bushwhackers became the storied, legendary outlaws of our Old West panoply. His conclusions of who these guerrillas really were, and how they fought, raped, maimed, murdered and killed may be shocking and in direct conflict with how our modern mythmakers have interpreted them through pulp fiction, literature, film and television. But in the end, without asking the questions and providing revealing answers, how can we resolve our ongoing conflicting conclusions about who fought the Civil War, and who continued to fight beyond the boundaries of law and order for decades after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse? As Hulbert succinctly states in his conclusion of The Ghosts of Guerrilla Memory, “I hope this story of guerrilla memory—and of the scars it left, and of those it failed to leave—on the physical landscape of the guerilla theater illuminate that the margins of Civil War history, however unseemly their violence or irregular their recollections, are worth accounting for…because one never knows when the fringes of one narrative will become the centerpiece of another.” —Stuart Rosebrook

Every spring my email overflows with book catalogs and press releases from publishers and press agents. One publisher of Western history that consistently stands out year after year is the University of Oklahoma Press. After receiving its Spring 2017 catalog, I compared it with the Fall 2016 issue to track trends and books I want to have reviewed in True West in 2017. What I discovered was three volumes from Oklahoma’s fall catalog that I recommend be read together, especially by readers interested in the interdisciplinary nature of Western U.S. history: 1. Road to War: The 1871 Yellowstone Surveys, edited by M. John Lubetkin Lubetkin’s third volume on the Yellowstone surveys (1871, 1872, 1873) completes his illuminating series on one of the major factors that led to the Great Sioux War. 2. Mapping the Four Corners: Narrating the Hayden Survey of 1875 by Robert S. McPherson and Susan Rhoades Neel McPherson and Neel’s excellent volume on the Hayden Survey reinforces and interconnects the federal government’s determination to promote the settlement and exploitation of the West’s natural resources. 3. Prelude to the Dust Bowl: Drought in the Nineteenth-Century Southern Plains by Kevin Z. Sweeney Sweeney’s Western environmental history of the 19th-century Southern Plains will elicit a deeper understanding of how the ebb and flow of severe aridity influenced American-Indian history and emigrant settlement patterns across the Great Plains. —Stuart Rosebrook




A hike on the Chinook Trail by Alaskan author Deb Vanasse inspired her to write Wealth Woman: Kate Carmack and the Klondike Race for Gold, chronicling the story of Carmack (far left), her daughter, Graphie, and husband, George, seen here at their Bonanza Creek cabin in 1897. – COURTESY YUKON ARCHIVES, JAMES ALBERT JOHNSON FONDS, 82/341, #15 –

WOMAN OF GOLD Every tale of the Klondike gold rush of 1897-’98 begins with the discovery of gold by George Carmack and his Tagish brothersin-law. In Wealth Woman: Kate Carmack and the Klondike Race for Gold (University of Alaska Press, $24.95), Alaska writer Deb Vanasse retells this iconic Yukon legend through the perspective of Shaaw Tláa, Carmack’s Indian wife. In doing so, she lends a voice to the women who served as an important bridge between native peoples and those who exploited the North’s mineral riches, a story echoed throughout the North American mining west. Her account relies

Old West

on well-researched secondary literature, supplemented with period newspaper articles and interviews of descendants. Vanasse with her experience writing Alaskan novels, delivers a compelling narrative of differing perceptions of wealth. —Catherine Holder Spude, author of All for the Greed of Gold: Will Woodin’s Klondike Adventure

TEXAS FEUD The last major Texas feud has been explored in No Hope For Heaven, No Fear of Hell by James C. Kearney, Bill Stein and James Smallwood (University of North

H is

tor y


re et

Texas Press, $29.95). The sanguinary grudge fest pitted the Townsends and the Staffords—two powerful Columbus, Texas, families who wanted to maintain or expand their influence. The trouble began with a shootout in 1871, followed 19 years later with the killing of the Stafford brothers. Another eight years went by before Larkin Hope became the feud’s latest victim. The violence did not end until 1911, 40 years after the feud began, with three more shooting deaths.

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to completion with this wellresearched, well-written study. —Mike Cox, author of Texas Ranger Tales: Hard Riding Stories from the Lone Star State


No Hope for Heaven, No Fear of Hell details the tragic history of the deadly feuds that plagued Colorado County, Texas, from 1871 to 1911, including the role of Walter Reese (center) and the Texas Rangers. – COURTESY NESBITT MEMORIAL LIBRARY ARCHIVES –

This book began with research by the late Columbus librarian Bill Stein, followed by work by Smallwood, who also later died. Finally, Kearney brought the project

David K. Randall has fully recounted for the first time the legendary Southern California Rindge Family land war in The King and Queen of Malibu: The True Story of the Battle for Paradise, (W.W. Norton & Company, $26.95). Boston Brahman Frederick Hastings Rindge and his wife, May, bought the old Rancho Malibu Topanga Sequit, more than 13,000 acres, in 1892 for ten dollars an acre. Their spread contained no roads, but a handful of squatter families. The most tenacious

Author David K. Randall’s The King and Queen of Malibu: The True Story of the Battle for Paradise recounts for the first time the full story of the Frederick and May Rindge attempt to develop their ranch in Malibu, including their own railroad (above) to the property circa 1906. – COURTESY USC LIBRARIES SPECIAL COLLECTIONS–




AMERICA’S BEST FEMALE SHARPSHOOTER The Rise and Fall of Lillian Frances Smith By Julia Bricklin $24.95 HARDCOVER 208 PAGES · 21 B&W ILLUS.

The first full-length biography of the sharpshooter who rivaled Annie Oakley

FRANCISCAN FRONTIERSMEN How Three Adventurers Charted the West By Robert A. Kittle

$29.95 HARDCOVER 336 PAGES · 14 B&W ILLUS.

Elevates three Spanish friars to their rightful place alongside Lewis and Clark as explorers


The Newark Overland Company’s Trek to California, 1849 By Margaret Casterline Bowen and Gwendolyn Joslin Hiles $34.95 HARDCOVER 384 PAGES · 35 B&W ILLUS.

The chronicle of a coast-to-coast journey to the gold rush

LAKOTA PERFORMERS IN EUROPE Their Culture and the Artifacts They Left Behind By Steve Friesen With François Chladiuk


The stories and legacies of Lakota Sioux Performers abroad



The surprising stories of eight frontier law enforcers







Jim Turner was the eighth generation living in the family’s Connecticut home until they moved to Tucson in 1951 because of his asthma. He has been teaching, presenting and writing for forty years. Turner earned his master’s degree in 1999 and began working as a historian for the Arizona Historical Society in 2001. Retiring in 2009 to write Arizona: State, he became an A Celebration of the Grand Canyon State editor for Rio Nuevo Publishers and a presenter for Arizona Humanities. He recently wrote The Mighty Colorado River and his next book, Crater Lake and Beyond, will be out in April. His favorite travel books reflect his eclectic tastes.

1 The Innocents Abroad (Mark Twain, Wordsworth Classics): Recounting his 1867 trip to Europe and the Holy Land, this was Twain’s first best seller and an all-time top travel book. His jibes at previous travel books and tourists who see what they’ve read about, instead of what is actually there, are hilarious. 2 People’s Guide to Mexico (Carl Franz, Lorena Havens, Avalon Travel Publishing): First published in 1972, this book epitomizes the era’s free spirit philosophy, indicated in its cover slogan, “No matter where you go, there you are!” Harper’s called it “the best guidebook to adventure in the whole world.”

3 The Santa Fe Trail Revisited (Gregory Franzwa, Patrice Press): Experts consider this the most complete guide to almost every known historic trail site.

As a bonus, Franzwa’s tongue-in-cheek writing style and his tribulations with flat tires and missed directions make this a delightful read.

4 On the Border: Portraits of America’s Southwestern Frontier (Tom Miller, Open Road Distribution): Miller has an eye for the quirky, and the New York Times says this collection of stories about the border from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific is “deftly written…a lively sketch of this unruly, unpredictable place.”

5 Native Roads: A Complete Motoring Guide to the Navajo and Hopi Nations (Fran Kosik, Rio Nuevo Publishers): Kosik’s thirty years’ experience in the area create a comprehensive coverage of geology, geography, archaeology, history and American Indian culture and lore. It is truly a labor of love.

of their isolated neighbors was the hardscrabble Decker family. Rindge, who at the time of his death in 1905 was worth $700 million, wanted Malibu as his private sanctuary. His widow, May, continued to fend off “trespassers”: squatters, neighbors, and county, state and federal officials. In the end, the Rindge family lost their ranch in paradise and have been mostly forgotten, while visitors to Malibu still make pilgrimages to Decker Canyon. —Brian Dervin Dillon, Ph.D., an archaeologist who has surveyed and excavated in Malibu for four decades 979.691.4000 @bush41

THE LEGACY OF RANCHING Preserving the Past Embracing the Future ON EXHIBIT: March 6, 2017 through January 7, 2018

GUNS, INDIANS AND THE WEST In his scholarly study, Thundersticks: Firearms and the Violent Transformation of Native America (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, $29.95), author David J. Silverman shows how firearms played a major role in the lives of North American indigenous people from the time they were first introduced to the end of the Indian Wars of the 19th century—and again during the 1973 South Dakota uprising of AIM (American Indian Movement). Reflecting the might firearms offered and associating guns with the most fearsome natural elements, Natives gave them names like “Thunderbolt” or “Thunderstick.” Showing that although firearms indeed became symbols of Indian manhood, rather than coveting them primarily for any supposed mystical power, they were prized more for their practical value in hunting and warfare. In its 371 pages, Silverman’s book also delves into the brisk trade in arms between Indians and whites, as well as how guns were so important to Native people in their struggle to defend their way of life. —Phil Spangenberger, Firearms Editor of True West magazine




t r i b u t e s : Jack August, Ph.D.: January 7, 1954 - January 20, 2017 By St u a rt r o S e B r o o k


– Courtesty suzanne Jameson –

ack August was a friend of mine, and I was just one of so many who benefitted from his generous spirit that seemingly overflowed to every aspect of his life. Jack, a Pulitzer Prize-nominee in history, was raised in Phoenix, and attended Yale University, graduating in 1975. His academic career brought him back to the Southwest to study at the University of Arizona for his master’s and the University of New Mexico for his Ph.D. The author of ten books, August was working on a biography of former Arizona Governor Fife Symington when his health failed. His accomplishments and contributions to education and the public policy history of the American Southwest are unmatched—as were his friendships. As True West’s Preservation Editor Jana Bommersbach fondly remembers, “To me, Jack August made you want to learn about history. What a contribution to the world that was!” At the time of his sudden illness and passing at the age of 63, Jack was working as the state historian and director of Institutional Advancement at the Arizona Capital Museum. He is survived by his wife, Kathy Flower August, and an extraordinary loving extended family and group of friends.

Davis Dutton

– Courtesy Dutton Family –

February 14, 1937 - January 13, 2017


knew Dave Dutton for 40 years. He was a man I loved and admired for his dedication to family, community, history, literature and his landmark family bookstore, Dutton’s of North Hollywood, California. I grew up down the street from Dutton’s, and our family frequented the unique book and art shop for decades. I had the opportunity to work at Dutton’s and fondly remember being trained to never tell a customer that we didn’t have the book they were looking for, because inevitably, Dave had a copy, or could get his hands on one, in a matter of days, if not hours. Dave, a graduate of UCLA, grew up in North Hollywood, and in addition to managing the family bookstore with his wife, Judy (above left) for nearly 50 years, he was

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also an author, editor (Westways and Colorado magazines), historian and raconteur of life and knowledge. He hosted hundreds if not thousands of book signings, and you always felt at home at Dutton’s Books, a community gathering place that had no peer in Los Angeles, for five decades. Unable to compete in the changing discount and online book market, Dave and Judy closed Dutton’s Books in 2006. He suffered from Parkinson’s and was 79 years old. His wife Judy; son, Dirk; and daughter, Juliet, survive him.

Kevin Starr, Ph.D. September 3, 1940 - January 14, 2017


rolific California historian Kevin Starr, known for his eight-volume series “Americans and the California Dream,” died of a heart attack at the age of 76 on January 14, 2017, in his hometown of San Francisco. Starr was a professor at the University of Southern California and, from 1994 until 2004, was the California state librarian. He received the National Humanities Medal in 2006. A prolific author and devout Roman Catholic, he was working on a new series on the Catholic Church in

North America, with the first volume, Continental Ambitions: Roman Catholics in North America: the Colonial Experience, published last fall. His wife, Sheila, and two daughters survive him.

R.L. Wilson June 24, 1939 - December 10, 2016


obert L. “Larry” Wilson, who published more than 50 books and 325 articles in a 55-year career, died unexpectedly at his home in San Francisco on December 10, 2016. He will be remembered as one of the most expert firearm historians of all time. As True West’s Firearms Editor Phil Spangenberger remembers, “Larry Wilson was one of the most knowledgeable firearms authors and authorities of the past half century. He was always a friend to me and very generous with his knowledge and in sharing his expertise with others and me. His many contributions to the literature of firearms history will be enjoyed and referenced for many decades to come.”

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EVENTS Brian Lebel’s Old West Show & Auction California Trail Days Cowgirl Up! Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering Genoa Cowboy Festival Happy Trails Children’s Foundation Banquet Horse & Burro Adoption Laramie Jubilee Days Legacy of Ranching Exhibit Mane Event National Fine Art Show & Auction O.K. Corral Pendleton Round-Up Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo Rock Island Auction’s Premier Firearms Auction Scottsdale Art Auction Trappings of Texas West of Pecos Rodeo Wild, Wild West Fest Willcox West Fest & Ranch Hand Rodeo

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MEDIA Guidon Books Louis L’Amour Trading Post Tales of the Express by Ellen Wight University of Oklahoma Press

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MUSEUMS Boot Hill Museum Buffalo Bill Center of the West Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave C.M Russsell Museum California Trail Interpretive Center Cripple Creek District Museum Crow Canyon Archaeological Center Deadwood History Inc Deming Luna Historical Society Desert Caballeros Western Museum Ellis County Historical Society Museum George Bush Presidential Library & Museum Hastings Museum of Natural and Cultural History Hutchinson County Historical Museum Kenedy Ranch Museum Knight Museum & Sandhills Center Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum Museum of the Big Bend Museum of the Fur Trade Nevada Museums & History Nevada Northern Railway Museum North Dakota Heritage Center Northeastern Nevada Museum Northern Pacific Railway Museum O.K. Corral Olaf Wieghorst Museum Old Trail Town Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum Rim Country Museum Campbell County Rockpile Museum Stark Museum of Art Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum Texas Rangers Heritage Center Tombstone Courthouse State Park Wells Fargo History Museums West of the Pecos Museum Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West Winchester Mystery House

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PRESERVATION Concordia Heritage Association Fort Chadbourne Foundation Fort Martin Scott Texas Rangers Heritage Center Texas State Historic Sites

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OTHER Bob Boze Bell Books: Raised on the Mother Road:The 66 Kid Big Book Sale: Classic Gunfights Series True West Moments Daily Whipouts True West Audio Book True West Maniac Club True West Subscribe True West Moments Book True West Back Issues

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T h e h i ST o ry o f a S c e n e BY H e n rY C . Pa r k e

Sink or Swim When shooting a movie scene becomes deadly. Stagecoach, 1939.


obody could overstate the impact of 1939’s Stagecoach on film in general and on the Western in particular. It rescued the genre from the “just-for-kids” B-movie ghetto, made an “A” star out of “B” star John Wayne and brought the maestro of the form, director John Ford, back to the range after a decade-long absence. Orson Welles called the film “perfect”—he watched it 40 times while preparing Citizen Kane. Stagecoach was nearly in the can. Andy Devine, the rotund, screechy-voiced actor who played stage driver Buck, was ideal for the part, bringing welcome comedy relief. But he knew the other reason he’d been cast. When Ford got impatient, and said, “You big tub of lard. I don’t know why the hell I’m using you in this picture,” Andy replied, “Because Ward Bond can’t drive six horses.” Andy’s son Dennis tells True West: “He grew up on his father’s ranch outside of Kingman, [Arizona], so Dad knew how to drive wagons and horses. Dad did all of it [in the film], the driving in and out of towns and stations. But that wasn’t Dad on the dry lake, the big chase. Not that he couldn’t do it, but because [the studio] was afraid he’d get hurt.” Andy had seen a rough cut of the film and loved it. But he faced one more scene. Perhaps not so coincidentally, Andy was asked to do a risky stunt on the last day of shooting, so the film could be completed no matter if something went wrong. Dennis says, “John Ford wasn’t stupid, and frankly, my dad was scared of doing that thing.” The scene would come before the big Indian chase. When the stagecoach reaches the hoped-for safety of the river, Buck discovers Geronimo’s men have burned the ferry. The script called for two trees to be cut down, lashed to either side of the stage, to float the stage across the river. Ford had already discarded the sequence: “The wranglers tell me it can’t be done.”

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Andy Devine, gripping the reins of his stage, brought comedy to Stagecoach. Director John Ford (inset, in chair) originally wanted Ward Bond to play the stage driver, but Andy got the role because Bond couldn’t drive a six-up stagecoach. – All Stagecoach photos Courtesy united Artists –

But just as Ford had plucked Wayne from the B films, Wayne returned the favor by bringing along ace stuntman Yakima Canutt. “It can be done,” Canutt told Ford, “and I think it will look terrific.” During three days of preparation, Canutt had a Paramount special effects expert build four hollow logs for flotation. Setting up on the Kern River, Canutt rigged an underwater cable to the bottom of the wagon—the cable ran through a pulley to an off-camera truck, which would pull the stagecoach into the river and across to the far side. Andy faced that last day of shooting with trepidation. “He didn’t know what was going to happen—the stagecoach could sink or the horses could drown,” his son Dennis says.

Canutt took the reins for the first take, a long shot, and everything went smoothly. The second shot was set up with the camera mounted to the stagecoach roof, looking over the shoulders of George Bancroft, as the marshal, and Andy. Happily, the river crossing went off without a hitch: no retakes needed. Andy was so relieved, he called up friends to go out and celebrate—Clark Gable and Carole Lombard. They had just sat down with him and his wife, Dorothy, at the Brown Derby and ordered their meals when Dorothy went into labor. Dennis was born January 24, 1939, the day Stagecoach wrapped. Henry C. Parke is a screenwriter based in Los Angeles, California, who blogs about Western movies, TV, radio and print news:

If John Wayne hadn’t brought Yakima Canutt onto John Ford’s set, the director may never have realized his vision for the river crossing scene (see right) that made consummate horseman Andy Devine unsure if he would live through that last day of shooting.

He Did it in One Take! Yakima Canutt is shown in one of his most famous stunts from Stagecoach, doubling for John Wayne’s Ringo Kid as he jumps to steer a team of horses after the reins have fallen from wounded stage driver Buck’s hands.

Ever since John Wayne met Yakima Canutt in 1932, the two worked together to make on-screen fight scenes more realistic, including this one from 1935’s Paradise Canyon,, which brought Canutt in front of the cameras as the bad guy counterfeiter (shown trying to force the gun from Wayne) . – PARADISE CANYON STILL COURTESY MONOGRAM PICTURES –

Yakima Canutt shared his behind the scenes story for Directors Guild of America’s Action Magazine in 1971: “When the company arrived, everything was ready to shoot. I put on pads to double for Andy Devine as the driver. Ford shot the crossing in one take [note camera shadow in top photo]. We finished the picture with the Indian chase on the flat lake bed at Victorville. I knew by now that Ford liked to shoot fast and didn’t want any delays, so I planned everything as closely as possible. We had a lot of saddle and horse falls to do first. So the night before we started on ‘em, I hired a farmer to disc 15 to 20 acres of the lake with his tractor. That way, we’d have soft ground to land on and get the job done faster and safer.”




Discover Western history on six grand travel adventures


century and a half ago, the nation was on the move. Just two years after the Civil War, millions of veterans and their families on both sides of the war were rebuilding their lives, many moving West for new opportunities and a chance to leave the past behind them. Entrepreneurial Texans hired hundreds of young men to drive wild longhorns north to railheads to feed the burgeoning immigrant cities of industry in the north. Homesteaders, bonanza-seekers and town-builders staked out their futures all across the vast lands of the Western United States. Railroad-builders hired thousands of laborers to T R U E



build the transcontinental railway, which in turn led to new roads, new towns and new conflicts with the American Indian tribes whose homelands were being overrun with the men, women and families who trailed behind the rail and mining camps, settling on farms and in ranching villages dotting the plains, valleys and mountains from the Missouri River to the Pacific Coast. The U.S. Army followed close behind, restoring, rebuilding and constructing lines of forts and outposts throughout the conflicted lands, with warfare and battle a daily possibility in every state and territory of the West for the next 23 years.

into our glorious past! Today, 150 years since the first cattle drives followed on what would become known as the Chisholm Trail from south Texas to Abilene, Kansas, travelers can immerse themselves in Western history and heritage in every state. Travel along with our authors as they go in search of the famous and infamous, the working man and woman, the scientist and soldier, the great chiefs and the future legends. Like their predecessors—who arrived in the West on foot, horse, wagon or railcar—our authors have walked in the footsteps, driven the byways, and even taken to the trail on horseback and enjoyed a meal beside a campfire under

the Western stars, to share their passion for the West with True West’s readers. So, pull out your map, your guidebook and start planning your adventure to the West, where history and heroes await your arrival. —Stuart Rosebrook U.S. Cavalry school graduates charge across the Little Bighorn River in the Little Bighorn Battle Reenactment on the Custer Battlefield, Montana. – DIANA VOLK –





The Georgia gunfighter’s trails and trials in Arizona twist and turn with adventure at every corner.

John Henry “Doc” Holliday followed the money to Tombstone in the fall of 1880, about the same time that Tough Nut mine partners Al and Ed Schieffelin and Richard Gird had sold their one-third shares to a Philadelphia mining company for a $1 million apiece. – CARLETON WATKINS, COURTESY BEINECKE LIBRARY, YALE UNIVERSITY –

ctober 26, 1881, Tombstone, Arizona Territory, 2:48 p.m. The unforgettable smell of death and gunpowder hung in the air like eternity. The wails of the wounded and dying, the screams and shouts of the witnesses ricocheted down the dusty streets and alleyways of Tombstone into history with the echoes of the earsplitting sounds of Doc Holliday’s shotgun blasts and Colt .45s. Cowboys Billy Clanton and Tom and Frank




McLaury lay in the dirt behind the O.K. Corral off Fremont Street, their bodies broken with lead, gunshot wounds bled out, forming patches of mud mixed with manure and urine. Wyatt Earp survived without a scratch, while his brothers Virgil and Morgan were both wounded, and Doc Holliday, just slightly grazed by Frank McLaury’s last shot. Time stood still that October in Tombstone, and for the Earps, Clantons,

McLaurys and Doc Holliday, Death’s fateful clock had been set for each of them. And while the gambling Georgia gunfighter’s last gasps in Glenwood Springs would be heard by few before his eternal rest, the daring deeds of Doc Holliday continue to be exhumed, honored and celebrated in popular culture, especially in his last healthy refuge, Tombstone, Arizona. Tombstone’s past is its present. Today, nearly 126 years after John Henry “Doc”

Doc Holliday stood for his portrait during one of his two tenures living in Prescott, Arizona Territory, between November 1879 and August 1880. After his final time in Prescott from May to August, the Georgia gambler caught the stage south to Tombstone—and destiny with the Earps. – COURTESY TRUE WEST ARCHIVES –

Holliday shot his way into history behind the O.K. Corral, his life and legacy can be seen throughout the historic town in Cochise County. His name and visage, like those of his legendary compadres and rivals, welcome visitors to Tombstone every day of the year. Tourists come to walk where the legends walked and fully immerse themselves in the Old West experience of “the town too tough to die.” Many historic figures were in Tombstone from 1880 to 1882, but Doc and Wyatt’s lives are the most publicized. But how much do we know about Doc’s life in Arizona, his permanent home prior to his last five and a half years of life in Colorado? The best way to follow Doc’s route across Arizona and attend one of Tombstone’s major re-enactment festivals in February, May, September

or October is to arrive a week ahead of the event and trace the enigmatic gambler’s 1879-’82 zigzag trail from Prescott to Tucson, and then to Tombstone and Cochise County. On November 1, 1879, when Doc Holliday and Kate Elder arrived in the Arizona territorial capital of Prescott as passengers in Wyatt and Mattie Earp’s wagon train—which also included Jim and Bessie Earp and Bessie’s two children—the mile-high mining camp was thriving with nearly 2,000 settlers. The Earp-Holliday wagon train would have arrived on the Crook Trail from Camp Verde and driven through Fort Whipple before coming down Gurley Street into the commercial district of Prescott around the Courthouse Square. The Earps would have sought out Virgil and Allie, while Doc and Kate would have sought out a boarding room in the heart of the gambling district on Whiskey Row. Today, the drive into Prescott on Gurley Street passes the historic Hassayampa Hotel and restored Elks Theater before arriving at the city’s historic Courthouse Square. Parking is plentiful all around the square, which nearly every weekend hosts a festival, concert or event. The actual footsteps of Doc Holliday are not always easy to identify— but, guaranteed, when you walk across the Square,

…Billy Clanton and Tom and Frank McLaury lay in the dirt behind the O.K. Corral off Fremont Street, their bodies broken with lead…

down Montezuma and through the swinging doors of the Palace Restaurant and Saloon, you are striding in the boot steps of the famous Georgia gambler and his notoriously famous compatriots. After touring the Square, walk west a short distance to the Sharlot Hall Museum. The centerpiece of the museum complex, a living history center, is the original logcabin territorial governor’s mansion. Enjoy strolling through the historic grounds, and visiting the indoor exhibits, remembering that when Doc returned to Prescott in May of 1880—after a short gambling respite to pay some debts in Las Vegas, New Mexico—he roomed on Montezuma Street with John J. Gosper, the territorial secretary, and a temperate miner named Richard E. Elliot. While in Prescott, stay at one of the historic downtown hotels,

When Wyatt Earp drove his wagon down Gurley Street in Prescott with his passengers Mattie Earp, Doc Holliday and Kate Elder in on November 1, 1879, the territorial capital of Arizona was a booming crossroads of freighters, miners, soldiers, entrepreneurs and all the merchants of vice. – COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –





Riding where Doc Holliday strode, True West’s Bob Boze Bell waves to the Prescott Frontier Days Parade crowd at the Courthouse Square and on Montezuma Street in front of the Palace Saloon, a centerpiece of Whiskey Row since its original incarnation as the Cabinet Saloon in 1874. – STUART ROSEBROOK –

and also plan a tour of the Fort Whipple Museum, housed in a former officers’ quarters at the V.A. Center, just east of downtown. To follow Doc’s trail out of Prescott, head south to Phoenix on Interstate 17, also known as the Black Canyon Highway, approximately parallel to the old Southern Pacific Stage road that connected Prescott and the numerous mining camps in between

with Phoenix in 1879-’80. While the ghost town of Gillette, where Kate and Doc bid adieu for, respectively, Globe, Arizona, and Las Vegas, New Mexico, in early 1880 (possibly after a final night together at Mrs. H.F. Hart’s Tip-Top Hotel), is way off the highway and only accessible by a fourwheel-drive vehicle, travelers on Doc’s trail should exit at Black Canyon City, and enjoy a meal at Rock Springs Café.

After Doc Holliday and Kate Elder settled into a boarding room near the gambling district of downtown Prescott in November 1879, the famous pair would have frequented Dan Thorne’s Cabinet Saloon on Montezuma, possibly where the Georgia gambler went on his famous winning streak that kept him in the territorial capital while the Earps headed to Tombstone. T R U E



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Doc Holliday did not join the Earps in Tombstone until September 1880. When he left Prescott, he likely rode the Southern Pacific Stage to Phoenix, which stopped at M.L. Peralta’s store at Central Avenue and Washington Street, and possibly spent the night at the nearby Maricopa Hotel before catching the next stage south. – COURTESY NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY –

A day spent in downtown Phoenix tracking Doc’s stage layovers would include a walking tour of downtown at Central Avenue and Washington Street, where the stagecoach from Prescott terminated in 1880, and side trips to the State Capitol

Museum and to the worldrenowned Heard Museum. Doc pulled up stakes from Prescott for the second time in August 1880, but he didn’t go straight to Tombstone. He most likely took the stage back through Phoenix to Maricopa to Tucson. Today, a drive south through Phoenix on I-17 to Tucson, all the way to Benson and the road south to Tombstone mostly parallels Doc’s stage route and the Earp wagon train’s route.

In Tucson, according to historian Gary Roberts in his biography Doc Holliday: The Life and Legend, Holliday stopped at “the St. Augustin Festival, that ran from August 27 to September 16,” and attracted “gamblers from all over the region.” Tucson was the largest city in the Arizona Territory during Doc’s two-year tenure, rivaled only by Tombstone, and in just over six months it would be a major stop on the Southern Pacific Railroad, with a station in Benson as well. Although it is rumored that Doc took a couple of breaks from the tables in Tombstone to play his hand back in


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In Tucson, bronze statues of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday stand outside the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum and Amtrak Station within feet of where Wyatt killed Frank Stillwell, and many believe Doc assisted, on March 20, 1882, in revenge for this killing of Morgan Earp a few days earlier. – BOB BOZE BELL –

Tucson, we know that the last recorded time he visited the Old Pueblo was with Wyatt, Virgil and Allie Earp, Creek Johnson and Sherman McMaster via the Southern Pacific passenger train from Benson on March 20, 1882. That evening, as the train pulled out of the station, Wyatt avenged his younger brother Morgan’s murder, leaving the bloody, shotgunned corpse of his

accused murderer, cowboy Frank Stilwell, on the tracks. Visitors tracing Doc’s steps in Tucson should start at the Arizona Historical Society Museum, the flagship of the society’s history centers. Afterwards, take a tour of Southern Arizona Transportation Museum adjacent to Amtrak’s historic Southern Pacific Depot, where bronze likenesses of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday stand ever-vigilant near the spot where Frank Stilwell died. Nearby are the historic Hotel Congress, St. Augustine Cathedral and several good restaurants, including El Charro Café, billed as “the

In Bisbee, you’ll find a forward-looking town with a remarkably well-preserved past. Bisbee is a town full of wellpreserved historic architecture, as well as home to a vital, living, breathing art and music scene. Plan for a solid couple of days worth of vintage shopping - from fine Antiques to eccentric clothing and accessories. Our museums range from a Smithsonian affiliate Mining and Historical museum to more homespun collections of early twentieth-century artifacts - all of which adds up to an authentic taste of history that you won’t find in just any southwestern town.

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Known as the birthplace of the Apache Warrior Geronimo, Clifton sits in a rugged canyon formed by the San Francisco River and rose as a mining and cattle town attracting entrepreneurs, miners, cowboys and the ladies who loved them. Today, Clifton is a vibrant jewel of Old West history surrounded by the largest copper mine in North America. • 928-865-3313 t r u e


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The bar in Tombstone’s Big Nose Kate’s Saloon, named in honor of Kate Elder (inset), was in the basem*nt when the Grand Hotel burned in 1882. Today, customers can drink at the same bar where the Clantons, Earps and Holliday were served. – BIG NOSE KATE’S SALOON COURTESY COCHISE COUNTY TOURISM/INSET OF KATE ELDER COURTESY TRUE WEST ARCHIVES –


oldest continuously family-owned Mexican restaurant in the USA.” When Doc finally reached Tombstone by stagecoach around September 14, 1880, he took a room at one of the silver camp’s hotels, possibly the Cosmopolitan. Wyatt

Earp had been deputy sheriff since July; Virgil had acquired his appointment as Deputy U.S. Marshall before he left Prescott; Morgan was a Wells Fargo shotgun guard; and oldest brother, James, was employed at Vogan & Flynn’s Saloon. For the

next 18 months, Holliday would find himself hard in the mix of competing political and gambling factions, all vying for control of the silver town’s booming enterprises of vice. Doc’s friendship with Wyatt would strengthen while the gambler tried to keep a low profile—difficult at best. He invested in mining and water claims, held a faro bank at the Alhambra Saloon and tried to rectify his on again-off again relationship with Kate Elder.

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where legendary men and women as the Earps, Doc Holliday and Nellie Cashman lived. Come absorb the experience and history that is unique to Tombstone, Arizona! Step back into the Old West for a few days or even weeks. It is an encounter with history that you and your family can only get in

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Can be traced on every street, on every wooden boardwalk. There’s nothing dry and merely old about Tombstone’s past. It’s alive and active and delightful, the spirit of the town and the spirit of its activities. With a mild year-round climate, any time is the right time to visit Tombstone!

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When Doc Holliday stepped off the Kinnear & Company’s stagecoach (inset) in mid-September 1880, the gambler would have been thirsty and hungry, and may have stopped in at Quong Kee’s dining room, The Can Can Restaurant, on Allen and Fourth streets. – TRUE WEST ARCHIVES –

Most visitors to Tombstone today will arrive on State Route 80, which becomes Fremont Street inside the city limits. The historic district, now closed to vehicular traffic, is easily accessible from convenient public parking. Plan on enjoying many of the most famous sites in the pedestrian-only areas of Fremont, Allen and Toughnut between Third and Sixth. Like Prescott, fire ravaged Tombstone, the worst occurring May 25, 1882, destroying many of the original locations that defined Doc’s life there. Nonetheless, visitors to Tombstone in 2017 should not miss tours of the historic Birdcage Saloon, Crystal Palace Saloon, Oriental Saloon Building, O.K. Corral and Historama, the Tombstone 1878

Visitors to Tombstone can pay their respects to the Cowboys Billy Clanton, Frank, and Tom McLaury at Boothill before gunfighters re-enact famous shootouts in the historic district during one of the town’s annual festivals.




The site of Kingman’s first airport, Port Kingman, was selected by Charles Lindberg as part of the Transcontinental Air Transport system. Both Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart were present at the dedication on June 8, 1929.

White Cliffs Wagon Trail, located near Historic Dowtown Kingman, is one of a handful of trails where you can still see wagon tracks etched into stone. The trail was used to bring gold ore from the mines to the railroad in the late 1800’s.

Shaffer Fish Bowl Spring is located on Oatman Highway (Route 66) west of Kingman. A few stone steps lead up to a spring capture basin and it’s quite a view over the valley below. Motorists used the spring to refill their radiators on hot Arizona road trips as far back as the 1920’s. In a sense, it was a Radiator Spring.

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THE COLOR OF MONEY From 1879-’82, Doc Holliday and his good friend Wyatt Earp cut a large swath across Arizona Territory. These legendary figures did not have time to hit every mining town’s saloon and gambling district, and the evidence reveals they had little or no interest in copper camps, including Clifton, northeast of Tombstone. Clifton was founded in 1873 and remained an active, prosperous smelter town for the nearby underground mine in Morenci until the early 1930s. Today, Morenci is home to the second-largest copper pit mine in the world, while Clifton, the Greenlee County seat, is one of Arizona’s most important historic mining towns—rich in the legend and lore of Old West history. For more information —S.R.

While Tombstone’s silver boom attracted Doc Holliday and the Earps to its opportunities in law enforcement, vice and gambling, just a few miles south the copper camp of Bisbee was roaring 24 hours a day. Today, “Bisbee Gulch” is the place to start a tour of the historic mining town. –COURTESY ARIZONA OFFICE OF TOURISM –

Underground Tour, Boothill Graveyard, Old Tombstone Courthouse State Historical Park and Tombstone Epitaph Museum. Buy a ticket and ride on the Old Tombstone Historical Tour stagecoach and, after the sun

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goes down, take the Gunfighter and Ghost Tours that start at Big Nose Kate’s Saloon. Tracking Doc in and around is not as easy as walking the streets of Tombstone. He did go to Charleston and Contention City, both

Territorial entrepreneurs were attracted to Tombstone’s booming silver camp, including former Indian Agent John Clum, who founded The Tombstone Epitaph in the spring of 1880. Today, it is the oldest continuously published newspaper in Arizona. – COURTESY COCHISE COUNTY TOURISM –

ghost towns abandoned long ago, and what foundations are left of the towns are protected within the San Pedro National Riparian Conservation Area. His Vendetta Ride with Wyatt’s posse after March 18, 1882, went all over the backcountry of the Whetstone and Dragoon mountains, before they rode north through Dragoon (known then as Summit Station) to Henry Hooker’s Sierra Bonita Ranch in Graham County, which is still privately held by his descendants. Doc’s last weeks in Arizona in late March and early April 1882

were spent in the saddle, with Wyatt’s posse riding to and from Hooker’s Ranch to Tombstone, north to Fort Grant and then east to Silver City, New Mexico, where they sold their horses for stage fare to Deming, and the northbound train to Albuquerque and eventual exile in Colorado. Doc never returned. His dream of striking it big in Arizona Territory was left in the mud

and the blood of Tombstone’s Fremont Street. But his spirit and legend live on all across the Grand Canyon State—and that is a dream he could never have imagined. Stuart Rosebrook is the senior editor of True West magazine. He is greatly indebted to the research of Gary Roberts in his biography Doc Holliday: The Life and Legend and Casey Tefertiller in his biography Wyatt Earp: The Life Behind the Legend.






GET YOUR KICKS ON ROUTE 66 WITH DOC AND WYATT Did you know that Doc and Wyatt got their kicks on Arizona’s Route 66 decades before Tod and Buz? Well, maybe not exactly, but they did get their kicks on Beale Wagon Road, from west of Sanders to just east of Winslow (neither town existed in 1879), where the trail veered south at Sunset Crossing, the historic ford on the Little Colorado River, to the road to Camp Verde and Prescott. Between Sanders and Winslow, Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp’s wagon party in 1879 would have followed Lt. Edward Beale’s famous road through the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest, and past a series of small crossroad settlements and trading posts, all built at key water stops near the modern towns of Chambers, Holbrook, Joseph City and Winslow. While Doc never went further west than what is now Winslow, getting your kicks on Route 66 on the trail of the two Tombstone gunfighters should be extended through Flagstaff, Williams and Kingman, all of which Wyatt may have visited on transcontinental train trips years after the famous shootout. The Grand Canyon Railway from Williams to Grand Canyon National Park is a fun way for travelers of all ages to experience steam train travel similar to how Wyatt and Josie Earp traveled a century ago. If you choose to follow the state highways from Winslow to Prescott across the Mogollon Rim to Camp Verde, schedule time for a side trip to Fort Verde State Historical Park, one of Arizona’s finest 19th-century living history centers, which Doc and Wyatt would definitely have visited en route to Prescott—and their date with destiny in Tombstone two years later. —S.R.







GOOD FOOD & LODGING GRUB: The Palace Restaurant and Saloon (Prescott); Rock Springs Café (Rock Springs); Los Dos Molinos (Phoenix); El Charro Café (Tucson); Big Nose Kate’s Saloon (Tombstone); Crystal Palace Saloon (Tombstone); Nellie Cashman’s Restaurant (Tombstone); The Longhorn Restaurant (Tombstone); Santiago’s Mexican Restaurant (Bisbee); Big Tex Bar-B-Que (Willcox) LODGING: Hassayampa Inn (Prescott); Hotel Vendome (Prescott); Hotel St. Michael (Prescott); The Hermosa Inn (Phoenix); Arizona Inn (Tucson); Elkhorn Ranch (Tucson); Tanque Verde Guest Ranch (Tucson); White Stallion Ranch (Tucson); Portal Peak Lodge, Store & Café (Portal); Copper Queen Hotel (Bisbee); Tombstone Monument Guest Ranch (Tombstone)

PLACES TO VISIT NORTHERN ARIZONA: Fort Verde Historical State Park (Camp Verde); Grand Canyon Skywalk (Grand Canyon West); Grand Canyon Railway (Williams/Grand Canyon National Park); Mohave Museum of History & Arts (Kingman); Sharlot Hall Museum (Prescott); Phippen Museum (Prescott); Smoki Museum (Prescott); Fort Whipple Museum (Prescott); La Posada Hotel (Winslow) CENTRAL ARIZONA: The State Capital Museum (Phoenix); The Heard Museum (Phoenix); Arizona Heritage Center at Papago Park (Tempe); Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West (Scottsdale) SOUTHERN ARIZONA: The Arizona Historical Society (Tucson); Southern Arizona Transportation Museum (Tucson); Singing Wind Bookshop (Benson); O.K. Corral and Historama (Tombstone); Tombstone Courthouse State Historical Park (Tombstone); Tombstone’s Boothill (Tombstone); Birdcage Theater (Tombstone); Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum (Bisbee); Rex Allen Arizona Cowboy Museum & Cowboy Hall of Fame (Willcox); Fort Huachuca Historical Museum (Sierra Vista); Greenlee County Historical Museum (Clifton); The John Slaughter Ranch (Douglas) For more information on visiting Tombstone: For more information on visiting Cochise County:

EVENTS AND CELEBRATIONS La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Tucson Rodeo (Tucson), Feb. 17-25, 2018; Gold Rush Days (Wickenburg), Feb. 9-11, 2018; Vigilante Days (Tombstone), Feb. 17-19, 2018; Wyatt Earp Days (Tombstone), May 27-29, 2017; Frontier Days & World’s Oldest Rodeo (Prescott), June 28-July 4; Annual 4th of July Celebration (Bisbee); The Williams Labor Day Rodeo (Williams), Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 2017; Showdown in Tombstone (Tombstone), Sept. 2-4, 2017; Rex Allen Days Rodeo (Willcox), Oct. 4-5, 2017; Helldorado Days (Tombstone), Oct. 20-22, 2017

GOOD READS, FILM & TV BOOKS: Doc Holliday: The Life and Legend by Gary Roberts; The Illustrated Life and Times of Doc Holliday by Bob Boze Bell; Doc and Epitaph by Mary Doria Russell; “Southern Son Trilogy”: Inheritance, Gone West and The Last Decision by Victoria Wilcox; Wyatt Earp: The Life Behind the Legend by Casey Terfetiller; Inventing Wyatt Earp: His Life and Many Legends by Allen Barra; We Call it ‘Preskit’: A Guide to Prescott and Central Arizona High Country by Jack August; Prescott’s Original Whiskey Row by Bradley C. Courtney FILM & TV: My Darling Clementine (20th Century-Fox, 1946); Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (Paramount, 1957); Warlock (20th Century-Fox, 1959); The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (ABC, 1955-1961); Doc (United Artists, 1971); Tombstone (Cinergi Pictures Ent., 1993); Wyatt Earp (Warner Brothers, 1994)


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Santa Fe Trail Center Museum Official Santa Fe Trail Museum in Heart of the Santa Fe Trail Kansas. Nine buildings on 10 acres. Museum, Library and Gift Shop

Sibley’s Camp Historic site on the Santa Fe Trail • e-mail: [emailprotected]

for information about this outstanding opportunity to see 800-747-6919 Call history come alive on the Santa Fe Trail.





Celebrate the life of Buffalo Bill Cody on a tour of historic sites across Nebraska and Colorado.

William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody (front, center) posed in front of his home, Scout’s Rest Ranch, in North Platte, Nebraska. The 18-room Cody Family home cost $3,900 to build in 1886 and was the centerpiece of his 4,000-acre ranch, farm and Wild West show. – COURTESY DENVER LIBRARY WESTERN HISTORY COLLECTION –

rinking in the spectacular views from Lookout Mountain in Golden, Colorado, one can see why the former scout-turned-showman Buffalo Bill Cody wanted to be buried on this famous peak. Standing near the wroughtiron gate encircling Bill’s grave and gazing out into the distance, the vast expanse of the Great Plains stretches out before you. This




remarkable vista resembles the life of the man buried here, a figure whose personality and influence was as big as the West. William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s celebrity has well outlived the man himself. Cody created Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show in 1883 to bring the history of the fading frontier to the entire world. This entertainment spectacle exhibited sharpshooting,

trick riding and re-enactments of historic events like Custer’s Last Stand. Though Cody traveled extensively with the show to large metropolitan cities, including New York and Paris, his home and his heart remained in the West. Two states Bill often called home were Nebraska and Colorado. It is in the Cornhusker State, however, where our tour begins.

It has been said that every man has his moment, and Buffalo Bill’s came on May 19, 1883, in Omaha, Nebraska. On this date, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show performed for the first time. The show drew a large crowd and by all accounts was a success. Today, Omaha’s cultural institutions continue to celebrate Bill and his legacy. In early 2016, the Durham Museum held a Wild West show exhibition, featuring numerous artifacts belonging to Cody and his top performer, Annie Oakley. The exhibit allowed visitors the unique opportunity to reexamine Buffalo Bill from a local perspective. The Durham Western Heritage Museum, at 801 South 10th Street in downtown Omaha, is housed in the city’s former Union Station. Initially reopened as the Western Heritage Museum, the institution displayed regional historic artifacts, and was later renamed the Durham Western Heritage

Museum in honor of Charles and Margre Durham, the driving forces behind its 1997 restoration. Displays reflect local history and tell the story of the role of railroads in transforming Omaha into a major center of commerce in the West. As Buffalo Bill built an entertainment empire with his Wild West show, he employed many individuals from all walks of life. In addition to well-known figures like Annie Oakley and Sitting Bull, countless others helped to make the show a success. One of those people was cowboy Gus Fonner. A man whose roots ran deep in the Cornhusker State, August Lewis “Gus”

Buffalo Bill Cody’s final resting place in Lookout Mountain Park, near Golden, Colorado, was chosen before his death in 1917 to provide the famed Western showman a majestic gravesite that gave all who visited his grave a spectacular view of his beloved Rocky Mountains and Great Plains. – COURTESY THE BUFFALO BILL MUSEUM & GRAVE –

Buffalo Bill, who personally saved the famous Cheyenne to Deadwood stagecoach after it was abandoned following an attack on it in Black Hills, made it a centerpiece of his Wild West show. The Abbott-Downing stagecoach was built in Massachusetts and put into service in 1863; today, it is on display at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming. – COURTESY DENVER LIBRARY WESTERN HISTORY COLLECTION –

Fonner was born in Grand Island, Nebraska, in 1873. As a young boy, he loved roping and riding on his family’s homestead ranch known as the O.K. Farm. Eventually, Fonner found his way to riding with the cowboys in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. While working with the show, Gus became fascinated with the Indian culture. Traveling all over the West with the show, Fonner began building an extensive collection of rare Indian artifacts. He also formed close relationships with the Plains Indians he encountered and was inducted as an honorary member of several tribes. Throughout his life Fonner remained an important member of the Grand Island community as a civic leader. At the time of his death in 1959, Fonner had been one of the




Visitors following Buffalo Bill Cody’s travels across Nebraska and Colorado should tour the Durham Museum, in the restored Union Station, a National Historic Landmark in Omaha, Nebraska. The exhibits in the Union Station Gallery detail the extraordinary railroad history of Omaha, which at one time had ten passenger depots, several of which Cody and his Wild West company passed through en route to their many national and international performances. – COURTESY NEBRASKA DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM –

first supporters of the fledgling Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer. He donated his entire collection of Indian artifacts to




the museum. His collection is now housed in the Gus Fonner Memorial Rotunda, where exhibits reflect the contrasting cultures of the Plains Indians and early Western settlers. Along with the Fonner Rotunda, the Stuhr Museum presents Western exhibits in several complexes. The buildings also include the popular Railroad Town, a historical town circa 1896 with over 25 buildings including actor Henry Fonda’s original childhood home. To reach

the Stuhr Museum from Omaha, head west on I-80, then take exit 312 north toward Grand Island. After reaching Grand Island, exit onto Tom Osborne Expressway, then turn right onto Tech Drive. Kicking down the dusty streets of Railroad Town, along wooden sidewalks and past period buildings takes visitors back to the bygone days of the Old West. Inside the Fonner Rotunda, they will find artifacts that ignite imaginations with images of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show and Indian culture. Before Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show opened in Omaha, and long before he hired any performers, Cody hatched the idea for his famous enterprise in 1883 near North Platte, Nebraska. In 1877, Bill and his wife,

Louisa, bought 4,000 acres adjacent to the town of North Platte. After moving to the land, the couple named the estate “Scout’s Rest Ranch.” Along with their children, the Codys lived in a beautiful 18-room Victorian mansion on the property. Here Buffalo Bill developed the idea for the venture that would become the most popular show in the world up to that point. On the roof of the ranch’s large barn, which housed thoroughbred livestock, Bill had the words “Scout’s Rest Ranch” painted in large block letters so they could be seen from the Union Pacific tracks a mile away. Although the ranch turned a profit, the operating costs became too high for Cody to handle so he sold it for $100,000 in 1911. Now known as Buffalo Bill Ranch

State Historic Park, the current site encompasses 25 acres and four original structures. The park is located at 2921 Scouts Rest Ranch Road in North Platte. Sightseers can reach the park by traveling east on I-80, then taking exit 158 for NE-25 toward Sutherland/Wallace, and eventually turning right onto US-30 east.

In Grand Island, Nebraska, the Stuhr Pioneer Museum celebrates the cultural history of the Platte River region, including the heritage of the native Pawnee tribe. From May 1 to Labor Day, the centerpiece of the Pawnee cultural exhibit, the Pawnee Earth Lodge is open for tours. – COURTESY NEBRASKA DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM –

WELCOME TO SCOUT S REST RANCH. It s Buffalo Bill s Ranch. Well, it was his. He lost it on account of dying. DISCOVER MORE AT

Gotta say, looks pretty good for a dead guy; must have been the clean living he was known for. Learn about how one of AmericaÕ s most interesting men lived. Make your way to ScoutÕ s Rest Ranch. If youÕ re interested in the old west, BillÕ s ranch is preserved in all of itÕ s glory. ItÕ s BillÕ s ranch, of course he gave it his coveted Buffalo of Approval.

800-955-4528 | T R U E




See the history of the first business in North America -the fur trade. Featuring: Pre-Civil War Lakota art from the Vandenberg Collection Discover the Bordeaux Trading Post, trade guns, beadwork, knives, native costumes and more. Open 8-5, May 1 to October 31 3 miles east of Chadron, Nebraska on US Highway 20. 308-432-3843 [emailprotected]

Stay in Ogallala to attend the Nebraska 150 Signature Event “Convergence on Sacred Ground” July 21-23 (Ash Hollow State Historical Park)

Boot Hill Cowboy Cemetery Mansion on the Hill Museum Petrified Wood Gallery

Call 800-658-4390

for a free Visitors Packet. Sponsored by the Keith County Visitors Committee T R U E



The restored home on the property was originally built in 1886 for Bill’s sister and brother-in-law, Al and Julia Goodman. The home, barn, a cob house—for storing corncobs used as kindling—and an ice house remain standing today. Leaving Nebraska and crossing the border into Colorado we head not to the state’s famous mountains but to the southeastern plains. In this corner of Colorado lies the sleepy town of La Junta. This small burg sits near the historic Santa Fe Trail, which is home to the rebuilt Bent’s Old Fort trading post where iconic frontiersman Kit Carson was once employed as a hunter. As a young pioneer, Buffalo Bill Cody also traveled extensively along the Santa Fe Trail seeking adventure. In his later years as a showman, Bill returned to La Junta, performing in the town on June 20, 1914. Throughout the years he ran the Wild West show, Cody experienced a number of financial wobbles. His economic troubles, coupled with the decline in popularity of Western style entertainment,

caused him to eventually lose his business, forcing him to work for the Sells Floto Circus in 1914 and 1915. Circus owners Frederick Bonfils and Harry Tammen, who were also proprietors of the Denver Post newspaper, employed Bill to ride out before every performance and salute the audience from his saddle. At the time, according to legend, Cody’s arthritis was so bad that after having waved to the crowds and ridden out of sight, it took several men to help the crippled showman dismount from his horse. La Junta is home to the Koshare Indian Kiva Museum. The museum houses a priceless collection of Indian artifacts and art, including Frederic Remington sculptures and several Woody Crumbo paintings, under the largest self-supported log roof in the world. To reach the Kiva, take Highway 50 south to La Junta, turn right onto Grant Avenue, right onto 5th Street, then left on Colorado Avenue until you reach East 18th Street. Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site is on Old Trail Road, 6 miles outside of La Stop. Play. Stay.

KEARNEY visitors bureau NEBRASKA


ARCHWAY Buffalo Bill was a great promoter of the natural beauty and cultural history of the West, including his beloved front range of the Rockies. Rocky Mountain National Park was founded in 1915, two years before Cody’s death, and is just 60 miles north of his grave on Lookout Mountain.


– Courtesy Gates Frontiers Fund Colorado ColleCtion within the Carol M. hiGhsMith arChive, library oF ConGress, Prints and PhotoGraPhs division –

Junta. The fort is open seven days a week and is fortunate enough to have Kit Carson’s great grandson, John Carson, employed as an interpretive guide. From La Junta, we head north, picking up I-70 and taking it to the spot where Bill was eventually laid to rest. On January 10, 1917, at the age of 70, Buffalo Bill died from kidney failure at his sister’s home in Denver. In his will, Cody stated he wanted to be buried at Lookout Mountain Park overlooking the Great Plains where he had spent so much of his life. Because Bill died in the middle of winter, however, the road to Lookout Mountain was impassable. So, Olinger’s

Pony Express Station and Museum Gothenburg Historical Museum Sod House Museum Historical Swedish Crosses Nationally Ranked Wild Horse Golf Club Ehmen Park Arboretum •

The largest municipal museum between Chicago & Denver.


800-482-5520 •

An exhibit honoring past & present citizens of Adams County who impacted the county and the state of Nebraska.

Open March 1 - Sept. 5 1330 N. Burlington Ave | Hastings, NE | 402.461.2399 t r u e


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Just north of the Arkansas River, in La Junta, Colorado, Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site was reconstructed from original architectural plans for the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976. Today, it’s a living history center of Great Plains life during the glory years of the Santa Fe Trail. – COURTESY MATT INDEN/MILES, COLORADO TOURISM OFFICE –

Knight Museum and Sandhills Center On the edge of the Nebraska Sandhills. Ne A Railroad town. A Cow-town. An Ag town. A Where history W runs deep. Largest Genealogy Center in Western Nebraska

Building i the h Best B Hometown H in i America T R U E



Mortuary in downtown Denver kept Cody’s embalmed remains in cold storage for six months until June when he could be properly buried. Interestingly enough, Olinger’s Mortuary is now Linger Restaurant. This posh diner allows folks to enjoy a meal in the very spot where the old scout was first preserved. In 1921 Johnny Baker, a man who Bill considered his adoptive son, opened the Pahaska Teepee Museum next to the grave. The museum is named for Cody’s hunting lodge outside Yellowstone Park. Many of the museum’s exhibits tell the story of Buffalo Bill and his legacy. For the centenary of Buffalo Bill’s death in 2017, the museum will pay homage to the showman by holding a funeral procession in June to commemorate the life and death of one of the West’s greatest legends. Kellen Cutsforth is the author of Buffalo Bill, Boozers, Brothels, and Bare Knuckle Brawlers: An Englishman’s Journal of Adventure in America. He has published more than 25 articles in national publications.

NEBRASKA/COLORADO CELEBRATIONS & EVENTS NEBRASKA: Crane Watch Festival (Kearney), March 16-19, 2017; NEBRASKALand Days (North Platte), June 14-24, 2017; Fur Trade Days (Chadron), July 6-9, 2017; John C. Fremont Days (Fremont), July 14-16, 2017; Total Solar Eclipse throughout Nebraska, Aug. 21, 2017; Nebraska State Fair (Grand Island), Aug. 25-Sept. 4, 2017; North Platte Rail Days (North Platte), Sept. 15-17, 2017; Old West Days (Valentine), Sept. 28-30 & Oct. 1, 2017 NEBRASKA’S 150TH ANNIVERSARY: Celebrations will be held throughout Nebraska in 2017. For more information on upcoming events visit: COLORADO: Buffalo Bill Burial Recreation, Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave (Golden), June 3, 2017; Greeley Stampede (Greeley), June 23-July 4; Cattlemen’s Days (Gunnison), July 7-16; Buffalo Bill Days, Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave (Golden), July 27-30, 2017; Fur Trade Encampment, Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site (La Junta), Oct. 7-8, 2017; Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering (Durango), Oct 5-8; Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering (Golden), Jan. 19-21, 2018


Rowse's 1+1 Ranch Burwell, Nebraska

GOOD EATS & SLEEPS GRUB: Old Capitol Grill (Golden); Miners Saloon (Golden); Trail Head Taphouse & Kitchen (Golden); Windy Saddle Café (Golden); Woody’s Wood Fired Pizza (Golden); Whisky Creek Wood Fire Grill (Grand Island); Tommy’s Restaurant (Grand Island); Farmer’s Daughter Café (Grand Island); Runza (a Nebraska Delicacy); El Azteca Mexican Restaurant (La Junta); Boss Hogg’s Saloon & Restaurant (La Junta); Copper Kitchen (La Junta); Felisa’s Mexican Food (La Junta); El Capitan Dining Room (Rocky Ford); Christine’s Restaurant (Rocky Ford) LODGING: The Silk Pincushion Bed & Breakfast (Golden); The Golden Bed (Golden); Dove Inn Bed & Breakfast, (Golden); Rodeway Inn (Grand Island); Island Inn (Grand Island); Grand Island Travel Lodge (Grand Island); Stagecoach Motel (La Junta); High Chaparral Inn (Rocky Ford)

PLACES TO VISIT Lariat Loop National Historic Byway (Golden); Historic Downtown Golden (Golden); Coors Brewery Tour (Golden); North Table Mountain Park (Golden); Golden Gate Canyon State Park (Golden); Prairie Winds Art Center (Grand Island); Rock Creek Station (Pony Express Station where Wild Bill Hickok killed his first man), (Fairbury); Homestead National Monument of America (Beatrice); Ryder Park (Grand Island); Picket Wire Canyonlands (La Junta); Otero Museum (La Junta); Purgatoire River Canyon (La Junta); Rocky Ford Historical Museum (La Junta); Farmers Markets (Rocky Ford) (during the warm months)

Experience a Real Working Cattle Ranch Reserve your spot now for 2017



GOOD READS, FILM & TV BOOKS: Buffalo Bill Cody: An Autobiography by William F. Cody; Buffalo Bill’s America: William Cody and the Wild West Show by Louis S. Warren; The Colonel and Little Missie: Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, and the Beginnings of Superstardom in America by Larry McMurtry; Buffalo Bill, Boozers, Brothels, and Bare Knuckle Brawlers: An Englishman’s Journal of Adventure in America by Kellen Cutsforth FILM & TV: Annie Oakley (RKO, 1935); The Plainsman (Paramount, 1936); Buffalo Bill (Twentieth Century Fox, 1944); Annie Get Your Gun (MGM, 1950); The Plainsman (Universal, 1966); Buffalo Bill and the Indians, Or Sitting Bull’s History Lesson (United Artists, 1976)





Hit the road across the Silver State’s heartland to discover its wondrous past.

A border-to-border heritage tour of Nevada on U.S. Highway 50 parallels historic trails and the military route surveyed and developed in the 1850s to shorten the overland route to California. Travelers on the modern highway will pass through and near numerous historic towns, cultural sites and natural wonders, including original Pony Express stations. – ALL PHOTOS COURTESY NEVADATOURISM UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED –

ith its turquoise skies, billowing thunderheads, wide deserts and blue mountains, Central Nevada is right out of a Maynard Dixon landscape. Cresting a desert ridge to see another wide Great Basin valley and thirty miles of open highway running straight and empty to the next range, is one of the highest highpoints of driving the West’s back roads. Highway 50 approximates the Pony Express and Overland Stage road trail across Nevada. From Ely west to beyond Fallon, T R U E



it’s also the Lincoln Highway, America’s first transcontinental road. For anyone seeking disappearing history, adventure, good folks and great scenery, there’s no place better to look than Highway 50. Its “Loneliest Road in America” nickname is so worn out it could use a new one—how about the best scenic road to real Western history? Or the best place to revisit 1956? Over the 406 miles between the Utah border at Baker to Stateline on Lake Tahoe, this two-lane highway crosses the 1827 trail

of path-finding mountain man Jedediah Smith, John C. Fremont’s 1845 wandering trail to Walker Lake, and the route topographical engineer James Simpson explored for the U.S. Army in 1859, following the trail George Chorpenning had opened up in 1858 for his California Mail Company— aka the Jackass Mail. Baker, Nevada, and Great Basin National Park are a great place to start. (Know those classic clips of wagon trains fording rivers or parting ways for Oregon or California?

Top 2017 Travel pick… USa Today • TrUe WeST Magazine • norThWeST Travel

Beauty, History, Outdoor Adventure & Small Town Charm. America’s only city entirely listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Six Hotels, a dozen family owned restaurants and pubs, two microbreweries, three museums, historic walking tours, festivals all year long. Two Hall of Fame Rails to Trails Bike Trails, Ziplines, 1,000’s of miles of ATV/snowmachine trails, Two ski resorts, close to over 150 fishable rivers, lakes and streams, and so much more—all in a family friendly walk-able 1890’s era mining town.

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Visitors to Great Basin National Park near Baker, Nevada, on the eastern end of U.S. Highway 50 can tour the Lehman Caves, one of the most extraordinary subterranean limestone cavern systems in the United States.

They’re from The Covered Wagon, filmed in 1922 at Otto Meek’s Baker Ranch.) At 13,065 feet, glacier-clad Wheeler Peak is the highest point in the park and once home to Prometheus, a bristlecone pine at least 4,862 years old—perhaps the old living life on earth— before researchers cut him down in 1964. Ooops. The park’s Lehman Caves are a subterranean wonderland of limestone speleothems, stalactites, stalagmites and ancient American red hematite pictographs. (There would be more, but after Ab Lehman discovered the caverns in 1885, he told early tourists “if you can break it, you can take

it.”) The caves’ Grand Palace, Music Room and Lodge Room have done double duty as speakeasies, fallout shelters, bandstands and dancehalls but still amaze 100,000 annual visitors. Highway 50 connects the mining towns of Ely, Ruth, McGill, Eureka and Austin, passing steam trains, opera houses, petroglyphs and turquoise mines to the Naval Air Station at Fallon, where the highway adds two lanes and turns south to Carson City. For fifteen years its six stories made Ely’s 1929 Nevada Hotel the state’s tallest building. Its 67 rooms (named after folks such as Jimmy Stewart and hometown girl Pat Nixon), casino, and always-open restaurant make it a fantastic place to play and stay.

30 YEARS OF SURVIVING “AMERICA’S LONELIEST ROAD” A HISTORIC HIGHWAY STRETCHING ACROSS THE MIDDLE OF NEVADA AND PONY EXPRESS TERRITORY In July 1986, Life magazine described Nevada’s Highway 50 from Ely to Fernley as the “Loneliest Road in America” and recommended that drivers have “survival skills” to travel the route. But Nevadans know it’s also one of the state’s most scenic and historic corridors. This year, we’re celebrating its thirty-year anniversary.

HOW TO BECOME A LONELIEST ROAD SURVIVOR Anyone who’s ventured across Highway 50 deserves some recognition and we want to make sure you get more than just bragging rights for your achievement. Request a Survival Guide at and find out how you can commemorate your journey. T R U E




Built in 1880, the Eureka Opera House was one of the finest venues in the Silver State in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It functioned as a movie theater from 1915 until the early 1950s, was restored in 1993 to its original elegance, and today serves as Eureka’s Convention & Cultural Arts Center. – COURTESY DEON REYNOLDS –

The busted boomtowns at Eureka and Austin are mining history gems. Eureka was Nevada’s second-largest town in 1878, and its fireproof Opera House, built on the smoking ruins of the Odd Fellows Hall, has served as the community’s heart since 1880. The county restored it to its original glory in 1993. This beauty and its companion Eureka Sentinel Museum, where newspaper time stopped in 1960, are both priceless. For a great 114-mile side trip, head north from Eureka to Carlin on Nevada 278 and east on I-80 to Elko, Basque restaurant heaven and home of the Western Folklife Center. West of Elko you’ll find the Hastings Cutoff and the California Trail Center, where you too can “See the Elephant.”

West of the historic mining town of Eureka, Highway 50 crosses the Simpson Park Mountains at Hickison Petroglyph Recreation Area. Close to Nevada’s geographic center, the summit offers a great view and a halfmile walk through panels of mysterious ancient art. (You can see more desert varnish masterpieces at Grimes Point archeological site east of Fallon.) Austin nestles at 6,605 high feet on the western slope of the Toiyabe Range. According to legend, a Pony Express pony

kicked over a rock, discovered silver, and started a rush that created Austin in 1862. The next year Austin’s 10,000 miners raised a quarter million dollars for Civil War wounded. Parts of the International Hotel arrived from Virginia City. The International

We are a well-preserved historic mining town, established in 1864 and the center of unlimited outdoor recreation for your vacationing pleasure. Visit our website to discover our great events throughout the year! 775-237-6006 • email [emailprotected] • or Funded in part by T R U E



still serves meals and drinks, and there’s lodging across the street at the Cozy Mountain and Lincoln motels. You can soak in Spencer Hot Springs or, a thousand feet from town, check out Stokes Castle. A mining magnate built this impressive three-story stone tower, used it for a few weeks in 1897, and never came back. Driving west through what Mark Twain called a “majestic panorama of mountains and valleys” reinforces much of what he said about the Great Basin being “one of that species of deserts whose concentrated hideousness shames the diffused and diluted horrors of Sahara—an ‘alkali’ desert.” Driving Highway 50 shows there was no easy way to get a wagon to California. Overlanders and their animals had to face hundreds of miles of arid trails, and the trail got worse until it reached the Sierra Nevada’s rivers. Mountain men, explorers, and promoters spent a generation trying to find shortcuts.

General Albert Sidney Johnston later died at Shiloh, but in 1859 he was commander of the U.S. Army’s largest post at Camp Floyd. He reported “the successful result of Captain Simpson’s exploration for a new and more direct route.” James Simpson “believed his new route shorter by three hundred miles.” It was “excellent, and abounding in all the requirements of a good road…except for about 36 miles, which he says is bad.” Johnston assumed this meant “as compared with the other parts of the route.” Better data changed Johnston’s mind. The route might be “of real value for military and mail purposes,” but until the country was better known, Johnston did not want Simpson trying “to turn the main tide of emigration” onto it. If the shortcut lacked sufficient grass and water, as it did, the tide could not be “checked and turned aside in time to prevent immense suffering.”

The Nevada State Museum in Carson City is housed in the historic U.S. Mint built in 1870 that operated on and off until 1893. Visitors will enjoy touring permanent exhibits about the U.S. Mint, state history and “Under One Sky,” which tells the history of Native tribes.




The federal government’s short-lived Pony Express mail delivery system can be retraced on U.S. Highway 50, with sites to visit in Fernley, Dayton, Fallon, Austin, Eureka, Ely and the Great Basin Heritage Area of White Pine County in Nevada, Millard County in Utah and the Duckwater Shoshone Reservation. – COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

It did work as an Overland Stage road. Celebrities who rode mail wagons to California included Horace Greeley, Sir Richard Burton, and Mark Twain. The “long-headed” Mormon Danite and formidiable frontiersman Howard Egan helped Russell, Majors & Waddell’s Central Overland California & Pike’s Peak Express Company—the Pony Express—appropriate Chorpenning’s stations. “Stagecoach King” Ben Holladay bought the line when the Pony went bankrupt and sold it in 1866 to a little outfit called Wells-Fargo Express for a cool $1.5 million. Pony Express and stage stations survive at Rock Creek and Cold Springs. After Richard Burton staggered off the stage at Sand Springs Station in October 1860, he described it as “roofless and chairless, filthy and squalid,” full of dust, with “walls open to every wind.” Burton’s “vile hole” is now a hike off the highway but is worth it, for Sand Springs is often called “the best-preserved Pony Express station” in the USA. From Fallon, Highway 50 follows “the tracks of the Elephant”—the California Trail—across the Carson Route of the notorious Forty-Mile Desert. For Twain, this forty memorable miles of bottomless sand was “the Great American Desert,” a prodigious graveyard where rotting







Nevada Northern Railway/Ely, Nevada

GOOD EATS & SLEEPS The elegantly decorated Victorian-era Mackay Museum Mansion in Virginia City is open daily for tours. George Hearst built the home in 1859 and it served as the Gould and Curry mining offices until after the Great Fire of 1875, when John Mackay, “The Big Boss of the Bonanza,” bought it to use as his family’s home.

wagon wrecks were “almost as thick as the bones” you could step on for forty miles. The sight gave him “something of an idea of the fearful suffering and privation the early emigrants to California endured.” Drive far enough west on 50, and the scenery looks like the Sun’s Anvil in David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia. You almost expect to run into camels. During the 1860s at least seven overland diarists mentioned seeing camel trains hauling supplies to mining camps. Shortly after George Harter camped at Diamond Springs north of Eureka, “two men with three dromedaries came up and camped with us. These animals frightened our mules very much,” he wrote in 1864. “These animals are used some here on the deserts and carry large burdens.” The beasts, maybe survivors of the U.S. Army’s 1857 experiment, never caught on in the West. Though often derided, camel drivers were as specialized as muleskinners. Harter nailed why the experiments failed: camels terrified the mules. West of Fallon, 50 heads south to Eagle Valley and Nevada’s capital at Carson City. The adobe walls of Civil War relic Fort Churchill, now a state park, and the great Comstock Lode are both close by. A buck will get you into one of Virginia City’s oldest buildings, the Territorial Enterprise. Now the Mark Twain Museum, you can see the desk and chair in the basem*nt where Sam Clemens became America’s greatest comic. Or you can share a drink with Twain’s ghost at the Bucket of Blood Saloon.

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Two great steam-powered wonders—the Nevada Northern Railway at Ely and the Virginia & Truckee Railroad at Virginia City— bracket Highway 50 east and west. The Nevada Northern is open year-round (except Tuesdays, Christmas, and New Year’s Day) and isn’t bragging when it claims to be “the best-preserved example of a standard-gauge short-line left in North America,” because it’s true. The V&T runs only in summer to Gold Hill, where the doomed Grosh brothers discovered the Comstock Lode in 1857 but died. Old Virginny Finney, Big French John Bishop, and other drunks claimed the discovery and got the credit two years later. The Nevada State Museum preserves Carson City’s U.S. Mint. Fremont’s lost howitzer and the world’s largest Columbian Mammoth are on display. If you’re from Wabuska, Nevada, you’ll find your historic station still selling tickets for original V&T rolling stock fifteen blocks south at the Nevada State Railroad Museum. From Carson City, Highway 50 heads into the Sierra along the line of Colonel Jack “co*ck-Eye” Johnson’s wagon road. The twin tunnels through Cave Rock connect Glenbrook and Zephyr Cover through De ek Wadapush (Standing Gray Rock), looming above Lake Tahoe’s south shore. You can’t linger or loiter at this sacred Washoe site, but it’s a good spot to end this trek and tale. Will Bagley’s two dozen books have won three Spurs from Western Writers of American. He is working on The Whites Want Every Thing: Native Voices from the Mormon West, for the Arthur H. Clark Company.

Grub: Margarita’s Mexican restaurant (Ely); Hotel Nevada Cafe (Ely); Middlegate Station (42500 Austin Hwy (Hwy 50), between Fallon and Austin); International Café and bar (Austin); Jackson House Inn (Eureka) LODGING: Hotel Nevada and Gambling Hall (Ely); All Aboard Café and Inn (Ely); Prospector Hotel & Gambling Hall (Ely); Jackson House Inn (Eureka)

PLACES TO VISIT Great basin National Park (Baker); Pyramid Lake (Fernley); Death Valley National Park (Pahrump); Nevada Northern railway (Ely); Ward Charcoal Ovens State Park (Ely); White Pine County Public Museum (Ely); Virginia & Truckee railroad (Virginia City); Eureka Opera House (Eureka); Eureka Sentinel Museum (Eureka); Hickison Petroglyph recreation Area (West of Eureka); Stokes Castle (Austin); Fort Churchill State Historic Park (Silver Springs); The Dayton Museum, (Dayton); Nevada State Museum (Carson City); Nevada State railroad Museum (Carson City)

CELEbrATIONS & EVENTS The Old Sheepherders Gathering The border Inn, Jan. 19-21, 2018 (Baker); Cowboy Poetry Festival Jan. 29-Feb. 3, 2018 (Elko); Show What Ya brung Car Show May 5, 2017 (Eureka); Hearts of Gold Cantaloupe Festival Sept. 1-4, 2017 (Fallon); Highway 50 Association 68th Annual Wagon Train (Stateline, Nevada, to Placerville, California), June 3-10, 2017 (Stateline)

GOOD rEADS, FILM & TV bOOkS: Roughing It by Mark Twain; The Humboldt: Highroad of the West by Dale Morgan; A Route for the Overland Stage: James H. Simpson’s 1859 Trail across the Great Basin and West from Salt Lake: Diaries from the Central Overland Trail by Jesse Petersen; So Rugged and Mountainous: Blazing the Trails to Oregon and California, 1812–1848 by Will Bagley FILM & TV: The Covered Wagon (Paramount Pictures, 1923); The Misfits (United Artists, 1961); Nevada Smith (Embassy Pictures, 1966); Wanda Nevada (United Artists, 1979)


Medora, North Dakota, welcomes visitors to explore and stay awhile in the cowboy president’s favorite place in the West.

The South Unit entrance of Theodore Roosevelt National Park is located in Medora, and is the perfect place to start down the trail of the 26th president’s life in North Dakota’s Badlands of the Little Missouri River. – COURTESY NPS.GOV –

e was known as a man of action, speaking softly but carrying a big stick. He led a group of volunteers called the Rough Riders to victory and fame up Cuba’s San Juan Hill in the SpanishAmerican War. As President, he preserved over 230 million acres of land for the American

public, and was affectionately known to be the inspiration for the Teddy Bear. Theodore Roosevelt (he refused to be called “Teddy”) was a man of high principles and ideals, a force to be reckoned with. As a child and young adult he suffered from asthma and intestinal ailments, hardly the

robust model of living what he later called “the strenuous life.” He wore glasses and his voice was high-pitched, sometimes described as a “squeak.” So what changed this reedy young man into the imposing figure that gazes down at us from Mount Rushmore?




Theodore Roosevelt returned to his beloved Maltese Cross Ranch in Medora in early 1884 after the passing of his wife and mother on Valentine’s Day. Roosevelt embraced the rancher’s life and posed with his trusted horse, Manitou, in Medora, circa 1885. – AUTHOR’S COLLECTION –

The American West. Especially the Badlands of Western North Dakota that today bear his name as Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Roosevelt loved the frontier and the wide open spaces. Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone were his childhood heroes, and when he was given the opportunity to hunt buffalo in the Dakota Territory (what is now North Dakota), he leapt at the chance. The small hamlet of Little Missouri, located next to the river of the same name, consisted of a saloon, general store and a ramshackle hotel when Theodore arrived by train in September 1883. Across the river a new town was being built by French aristocrat and former soldier, the Marquis de Morès, who named it Medora, after his wife. He was building a hotel, a newspaper office and a slaughter house to process cattle from local ranches before shipping them to Eastern markets in refrigerated train cars. The day after his arrival, Theodore began his quixotic hunt for the shaggy beast. His unending enthusiasm and energy, even after several days of unsuccessful attempts in miserable, rainy weather, were finally rewarded when he shot his prized buffalo. Before leaving for New York, Theodore purchased the Maltese Cross Ranch, along with its cattle. Theodore Roosevelt was now a Dakota rancher.




Five months later tragedy struck when Roosevelt lost both his wife and his mother on Valentine’s Day. As his current term in the New York Assembly had ended, a grieving Theodore left for the Dakotas. Over the next three years, he allowed the region to heal his heart, harden his body and give his spirit new motivation to do what was right. Theodore once said he never would have been President if it hadn’t been for his time in the West. It wasn’t hyperbole; it was the truth. During his time in the Dakotas, he learned that your word is your bond, a promise is always kept, you carry your own weight without asking for a handout and you ride for the brand. He earned the respect of the local cowboys and ranchers, who adopted him as one of their own. Although it’s been over 130 years since Theodore Roosevelt trekked over this region, today you can easily follow in his footsteps in Medora and its surrounding areas. Visiting this part of the country, you understand why he fell in love with its “desolation, and grim beauty.” The town of Medora became a faint shell of itself after the Marquis left town in 1887. But all that changed in 1963, when Harold Schafer, owner of the Gold Seal Company, stepped in and formed the Theodore

The Ferris Store, founded in 1885, still operates as a seasonal general store in Medora. Joe Ferris and Teddy Roosevelt were friends, and the New Yorker would rent a second-story room from the merchant when in town. – COURTESY MEDORA CVB –

Roosevelt Medora Foundation. Schafer loved the area and began buying up many of the buildings, refurbishing them in order to make Medora a popular tourist attraction, in combination with Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Rough Riders Hotel, which was originally called the Metropolitan when it was built in 1885, was completely rebuilt by Schafer and expanded in 2000, and all rooms now include a “Teddy Bear Rough Rider.”

Enjoy a day at North Dakota’s State Museum. An adventure 600 million years in the making.

When Theodore Roosevelt arrived in the Dakota Territory, most buffalo herds were quickly disappearing. As President, Roosevelt was involved in bringing back bison from near extinction. Today, 600 of the shaggy beasts call the North and South Units of the park home. – MICHAEL F. BLAKE –

The hotel’s restaurant, aptly named “Theodore’s,” is a must for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Lining some of the walls are framed original letters from Theodore to his long-time Medora friends, Joe and Sylvane Ferris. At the corner of 5th Street and Broadway stands the Von Hoffman House, which served as the residence for the parents of Medora de Morès. During the summer season visitors can tour the home, which boasts period furniture, and take a walking tour titled Footsteps Into Medora’s Past, which departs daily from the Von Hoffman House. It is a great way to learn the town’s history and its people. The park at 3rd Street and Broadway was the site of “Bob Roberts Bug Juice Dispensary and Town Hall.” It was there that Theodore presided over quarterly meetings of the local stockmen’s group. Next door is the current town hall, which in the summer offers a daily one-man presentation honoring Theodore’s memory. The Chateau de Morès Interpretive Center offers displays of many personal

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For 50 years, the Medora Musical has entertained audiences from the Burnt Hills Amphitheatre with a spectacular show dedicated to the legacy of President Theodore Roosevelt. – CHUCK HANEY, COURTESY MEDORA CVB –

items belonging to the Marquis and his family, as well as one of his original MedoraDeadwood stagecoaches. From there, visit the Chateau, a 26-room house the Marquis built on a bluff overlooking Medora. All the items in the house are original, just as the Marquis left them in 1887. During the summer season, you can experience




historical re-enactors as they portray local figures talking about their time in the town, or you catch a stagecoach ride along the river bottom land. At night, head to the Burning Hills Amphitheatre for the Medora Musical, a high-spirited, toe-tappin’ stage production that has entertained audiences for the past fifty years.

The entrance to the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, which opened to the public in 1947, is in Medora. The park is broken into three units: South Unit, Elkhorn Ranch site and North Unit. As you enter the South Unit, stop at the visitor’s center for information on where you might see buffalo and wild horses. Be sure to catch the center’s short film about Theodore’s time in the Dakotas, and view some of his personal items, including gifts he bestowed to his longtime Medora friends.

Today, Roosevelt’s Maltese Cross Cabin, built in 1883, stands behind the park’s South Unit visitor’s center. Restored after it was moved to the park in 1959, the cabin’s logs are original and the interior, decorated with period antiques, holds a small writing desk and trunk from his Elkhorn Ranch. – MICHAEL F. BLAKE –

Behind the visitor’s center is Theodore’s Maltese Cross Cabin. He lived in this cabin (the original location is 15 miles south of the park) during 1884, and inside you’ll find his canvas trunk complete with his initials, his writing desk, bookshelf (a prodigious reader, he consumed two books a week) and his rocking chair. The park offers a 38-mile scenic loop drive, where you’ll see many prairie dog towns. These little animals, which Theodore

called “noisy and inquisitive,” are a delight to watch, and listen to as they squeak to communicate with each other. Buffalo herds also are plentiful, but are always on the move as they graze. Four hundred bison reside in the South Unit, while 200 are at the North Unit. Wild horses are another treat for tourists, especially in Spring, when the

colts and fillies are born. The Boicourt and Badlands Overlooks offer the best views of the park, where you can stop and just listen to the sounds of nature. You won’t be disappointed. During the summer several ranger programs are available; be sure to check at the visitor’s center for information and times.




Visitors to the Stark County Courthouse in Dickinson, North Dakota, are greeted by Tom Bollinger’s bronze statue of Theodore Roosevelt delivering his first political speech on July 4, 1886. – MICHAEL F. BLAKE –

Theodore’s Elkhorn Ranch site is a 45-minute drive west of the park (get directions at the visitor’s center). It’s an easy walk from the parking area with no inclines along a mowed pathway through the grass. Carry ample water as there are no resources at this location. Of the three units, this is the least visited, and it is a shame such beauty is overlooked. Theodore built his second cabin here after finding a pair of elk

~ Established 1890s ~




skulls locked together from a long-ago battle. This find gave him the inspiration for its name, “Elkhorn Ranch.” The cabin, made from nearby cottonwood trees, has long since disappeared, but inside the surrounding fence one can see the six stone blocks that served as the cabin’s foundation. A gate allows you to walk inside the area, giving the visitor an idea of the cabin’s size. Spend a few minutes here to drink in the solitude as you realize that little has changed since Theodore’s time. You can understand why he loved to sit on his porch in his rocking chair, watching the Little Missouri River wind its way along its banks, while listening to the meadowlarks sing and the wind rustle the leaves of the cottonwood trees.

North Dakota SiDeroaDS Good Eats & slEEps Grub: badlands pizza and saloon (Medora); Chuckwagon Western buffett (Medora); Ice Cream parlor & bake shop (Medora); Maltese burger (Medora); Medora Fudge shop & Ice Cream depot (Medora); pitchfork steak Fondue (Medora); theodore’s dining room (Medora); the Crossing (Dickinson); Wurst laden Küche (Dickinson lodGInG : rough riders Hotel (Medora); the bunk House (Medora); Hyde House (Medora); Wooly boys Inn (Medora); theodore roosevelt national park (Medora); Medora Campground (Medora); bar X Guest ranch & Horse Camp (Medora); buffalo Gap Guest ranch (Medora); amble Inn Motel (Medora); 1026 oasis Inn (Dickinson); ramada Grand dakota Hotel (Dickinson)

plaCEs to VIsIt

The North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame in Medora is a multi-storied museum complex with numerous exhibits on Western ranching and the cowboy history of the Peace Garden state. – Courtesy Medora CVB –

Medora area Convention and Visitors bureau (Medora); billings County Courthouse Museum (Medora); the Château de Morés Interpretive Center (Medora); Chimney park picnic area (Medora); Harold schafer Heritage Center (Medora); Joe Ferris General store (Medora); little Missouri national Grassland (Medora); north dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame (Medora); theodore roosevelt national park (Medora); transportation Museum (Medora); Von Hoffman House (Medora); Western Edge bookstore (Medora); dickinson Museum Center (Dickinson)

CElEbratIons & EVEnts The North Unit is an hour’s drive north from the South Unit via Highway 85. At the North Unit you will find the largest concentration of the geological curiosity known as “cannonball concretions.” Millions of years ago, sand grains from ancient river deposits were cemented together by minerals dissolved in the groundwater, and shaped into the form of their namesake. In addition to the herd of buffalo, a small band of Longhorn cattle call the North Unit home. The rangers at the visitor’s center can tell you where you might spot the cattle on any given day. Along the 14-mile drive, look for the signs pointing to the edge of the glacier pullout from the last Ice Age. Both the River Bend and Oxbow overlooks offer breathtaking views of the valley and the Little Missouri River below. Looking down at the river, one can imagine Theodore’s famous watery pursuit after boat thieves in a chilly February 1886. Thirty-eight miles east of Medora is the city of Dickinson. While the buildings from the 1880s have long since disappeared, there is one stop any admirer of Roosevelt

must make. In front of the Stark County Courthouse, at Simms and 3rd streets, is a detailed sculpture by Tom Bollinger featuring a young Theodore Roosevelt dressed in his buckskin shirt and chaps, standing on a soap box with speech in hand. The statue is located on the exact site where Theodore gave one of his first public speeches on July 4, 1886. For all of his life, Theodore Roosevelt had an abiding love affair with the American West. His love of the West is demonstrated not only in his actions, but also in his writing. When he wrote about riding in the badlands in the early hours, as the sun was breaking over the horizon, it wasn’t just a picture he was painting; it was his heart speaking the truth. The American West transformed Theodore Roosevelt, and he returned the favor by protecting it and instilling in others the love he had for it. Michael F. Blake, a two-time Emmy-winning makeup artist, is the author of The Cowboy President: How the American West Transformed Theodore Roosevelt, which will be released in Spring 2018 by Two Dot Press.

Footsteps into Medora’s past (Medora), June 3-Sept. 10, 2017; History alive! The Château de Morés Interpretive Center, (Medora), June-August; Medora Musical, burning Hills amphitheatre (Medora), June 3-Sept. 10, 2017; Medora to deadwood stagecoach rides The Château de Mores Interpretive Center (Medora), JuneSeptember; north dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame Induction (Medora), June 17, 2017; teddy roosevelt salute to Medora Dates TBD; roughrider days & Expo (Dickinson) ,June 23-July 4, 2017; nd ukrainian Festival (Dickinson), July 21-23, 2017; 60th annual Home on the range rodeo (Sentinel Butte), August 5, 2017

Good rEads, FIlM & tV booKs: Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail by Theodore Roosevelt; The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris; A Free and Hardy Life: Theodore Roosevelt’s Sojourn in the American West by Clay S. Jenkinson; The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade For America by Douglas Brinkley; Roosevelt’s Ranches: The Maltese Cross and the Elkhorn by Rolf Sletten; Medora: boom, bust and resurrection by Rolf Sletten; roosevelt In the bad lands by Hermann Hagedorn; ranching With roosevelt by Lincoln A. Lang (1926) FIlM & tV: Wind and The Lion (MGM, 1975); The Rough Riders (TNT, 1997); TR: The Story of Theodore Roosevelt (PBS, 1996); Teddy Roosevelt: An American Lion (History Channel, 2002) t r u e


w e st

Bill Dunn

Card-Carrying True West Maniac No. 2202 For the past thirty years I have volunteered at local museums and historical sites as an interpreter. I love history especially of the West. I can truthfully say, “I have become what I always was”.

Be a True West Maniac for Life today! Membership includes a LIFETIME subscription to True West Magazine, Bob Boze Bell autographed copy of Classic Gunfights Vol. 1 and signed art print, True West Maniac ID card, T-shirt & Decal, plus exclusive members-only Email offers, just $365.

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Original Wieghorst Art in Main Gallery (53 pieces of new original Olaf art including 5 Bronzes) Wieghorst Prints in the Gift Shop Rotating Art Exhibits featuring local artists in front gallery. Tour Museum and Historic Home of Olaf & Mae Wieghorst. Set in our acclaimed Cactus Garden, which is also available for events... weddings, dinners, receptions. Call for information.

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Saddle up for adventure in Wyoming and Montana’s Big Horn Country.

The Indian Memorial at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument was dedicated June 25, 2014, at the 138th anniversary of the battle. The site of the monument has a 360-degree view of the battlefield and honors all the Indian tribes that fought on both sides of the conflict. – COURTESY MONTANA OFFICE OF TOURISM AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT –

n aging stone monument stands on a lonely, windswept hilltop in Wyoming. The century-old war memorial is seemingly forgotten by the busy travelers rushing down Interstate 90, about a mile away. As I stand at the base of the obelisk, gazing out at the wide open surrounding prairie, all is quiet and peaceful




on this blustery fall day. But 150 years ago, this was the scene of the horrific battle known as the Fetterman Massacre—81 cavalry troopers lured into an ambush and wiped out by Sioux and Cheyenne warriors, themselves horse soldiers fighting for their land, their way of life and their very existence.

The Fetterman site lies in a unique and largely unspoiled region of the American West that is a treasure trove of Western history. This 200-mile stretch, running from Kaycee in north central Wyoming, north along the eastern slope of the Bighorn Mountains, and up to Billings, Montana, saw some epic events of the Old West. Custer’s


Ft Phil Kearny (, located on the historic Bozeman Trail. After lunch, plan to spend a few hours exploring The Brinton Museum (4) ( in Big Horn for a look at one of the most robust collections of Indian and western artifacts in the EXPERIENCE SHERIDAN’S HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS in 48 whirlwind hours West, then shop for a new pair of cowboy boots in Historic Downtown old west photo archive, a remarkable collecDay 1. Rise and shine in either the “Sitting Sheridan (5). The Sheridan County Bull Room” or “Wild Bill Hickok” suite at the tion of saddles, and Indian artifacts, the Don Museum boasts a robust archive of King Museum offers a glimpse at life in the Sheridan Inn (1) (, West through the years. Before dinner, take a historical images, artifacts and letters, Buffalo Bill Cody’s former stomping and serves as an excellent exclamation grounds. Each room at the Inn is unique tour of the Trail End State Historic Site (3) point on your tour. After dinner, kick up and named for important figures in Buffalo ( Built in Flemish Revival style, Bill’s life. After breakfast, take a drive to the Trail End mansion examines an elegantly your boots on the porch of the Historic the Little Bighorn National Monument, different aspect of Wyoming’s rich and colorful Sheridan Inn the way Buffalo Bill once did, and watch the sun set on your time the site of the crucial 1876 battle between history, and shouldn’t be missed. in Sheridan. Day 2. Rise to beat the crowds of history George Armstrong Custer and the Sioux. For more on these, and other adventures After, return to town and enjoy the old west buffs and tour Indian battle sites and former in Sheridan, please find us on Facebook, military posts, including the Rosebud and marvels at the Don King Museum (2) Twitter and Instagram, and visit us online ( Housing everything Connor Battlefields, the site of the Wagon at from horse-drawn hearses, an incredible Box Fight, and finally picturesque

Sheridan, WYOMING

Wyoming’s emerald gem, Sheridan blends quintessential cowboy culture, modern west allure, and country charm.

Buffalo Bill CODY in SHERIDAN - 122 Years Ago Constructed in 1892 as part of a railway extension program, the Sheridan Inn was the first building in the area furnished with electrical power and bathtubs, giving adventurous travelers a taste of Eastern luxury in the West and was considered the finest hotel between Chicago and San Francisco. Buffalo Bill Cody frequented the Sheridan Inn as part owner and held auditions for his Wild West Show from the iconic front porch of the Inn. t r u e


w e st


The U.S. Army Memorial on Last Stand Hill was built and dedicated by Lt. Charles F. Roe and the 2nd Cavalry in July 1881. Two years prior to the permanent marker, Capt. George Sanderson and the 11th Cavalry built the first grave memorial on the highest point just behind where Gen. George A. Custer’s body had been found. – PHOTO OF CUSTER MONUMENT BY MARK BEDOR/PHOTO OF GEORGE A. CUSTER COURTESY BEINECKE LIBRARY, YALE UNIVERSITY –

Last Stand, The Battle of the Rosebud, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Wagon Box Fight and the last stand of the Cheyenne Indians all took place here. It’s also the former home to the Hole In The Wall Gang of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and the ancient and mysterious Medicine Wheel of the Native Americans. Best of all, there are myriad opportunities to experience this country the way the legends who roamed

HISTORY LESSON Learn of culture past and present in Central Montana, where everything takes on a whole new meaning. Learn more at




here once did—on the back of horse, and none quite like U.S. Cavalry School, on the Custer Battlefield, in the heart of the Crow Indian Reservation. Imagine trotting horseback down Medicine Tail Coulee, following the exact trail Custer rode on that fateful day in June of 1876. You’re sitting in the same McClellan saddle used by the troopers of the 7th Cavalry, dressed in the same uniform they wore, with the same single-action Colt in a holster on your hip. Here, in a deep ravine in the country the Indians called the Greasy

The U.S. Cavalry School attendees (including the author, center) spend a week taking daily rides in vintage McClellan saddles on the Little Bighorn Battlefield in preparation for participating in the annual Little Bighorn Battle Reenactment held the third weekend of every June on the Crow Reservation. – DIANA VOLK –

Grass near the Little Bighorn River, you can see why Custer had no idea what was on the other side of these towering hills. “You cannot understand this battlefield, unless you do on it horseback,” says our expert guide, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Bobby Jolley. “The tyranny of the terrain ultimately determined the outcome of the battle.” Riding the battlefield is a daily highlight of U.S. Cavalry School, a week-long immersion into the life of an 1870s cavalry trooper. You’ll learn how the cavalry and its equipment evolved; drill with a sabre; ride

in formation; and even go target-shooting with the same 1873 Springfield carbines the troopers carried. Then it all culminates with the annual re-enactment of the Battle of the Little Big Horn, on the battlefield where that legendary fight actually happened. I was all ears listening to Col. Jolley, as we called him. The retired and decorated career officer is known as a top expert in the history of both the U.S. Cavalry and the

Custer Battle. Pausing on our ride through the coulee, Jolley tells us it was here that Custer’s scouts rode up to rejoin him, arriving with bad news. The Sioux are annihilating Marcus Reno’s command, after his disastrous attack on the south end of Sitting Bull’s vast village, along the nearby Little Bighorn River. “So what the hell is Custer gonna do?” Jolley asks rhetorically. “He’s gonna move down this draw, and he’s

cody, wyoming


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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




In 1884, the city of Sheridan was founded, and a year after the railroad arrived, the railway company built the Sheridan Inn and hired Buffalo Bill Cody to manage it, which he did from 1894-’96. Now a national historic landmark, the fully restored Sheridan Inn hosts the annual First Peoples’ Pow Wow every July during Sheridan’s annual Wyo Rodeo (July 10-16, 2017). – PHOTOS COURTESY SHERIDAN CVB –

gonna make a decision.…So let’s ride down to the mouth of the draw.” Jolley—and history—tell us Custer feared the Indians would scatter when they saw the cavalry coming. But what Custer apparently failed to realize is the Sioux, Cheyenne and their Arapaho allies had nowhere else to run. This land, in what is now southeastern Montana, was part of the

very last place where the Plains Indian could roam free. What’s especially great is it looks much the same as it did that dramatic June day in 1876. That’s just a taste of all there is to see and do in this special part of the West. While we’ve all heard of the Little Bighorn Battlefield, you might not be so familiar with tiny Kaycee, Wyoming. This was Butch

Cassidy’s stomping grounds. Forty miles southwest of Kaycee lies the famous Hole in the Wall, the remote and defensible hideout where the outlaw and his gang could hold off the law and stash stolen cattle and horses. Today it’s on federal government land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). You’re welcome to visit, but it’s rugged country requiring cross-country hiking or horseback riding. There’s no services, so be prepared.

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The free life of the Cheyenne Indians came to an end 25 miles west of Kaycee. Months after the BUTCH CASSIDY Custer Battle, on the bitter cold morning of November 25, 1876, Indian scouts lead Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie and his men to the tribe’s sec-luded winter camp. The Cavalry attack devastated the LeDoux. The onetime world bareback-riding Cheyennes. Mackenzie ordered their village champion and singer-songwriter was best and all their possessions burned. The surknown for his unique brand of rodeo rock ’n’ viving Indians fled into the brutal winter roll, selling millions of records. Today he’s weather defenseless, hungry and literally forever memorialized on a bronze buckin’ freezing to death. The battle site is now bronc, in Kaycee’s Chris LeDoux Park. You can spend the night 40 miles north private property and part of the Graves family’s Red Fork Ranch. Tours are available. in Buffalo, Wyoming, at the Occidental In more recent years, Kaycee gained fame Hotel. The historic inn is where Butch and as the hometown of the late, great Chris Sundance, Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley and

Visitors to downtown Buffalo, Wyoming, will walk in the footsteps of the famous and infamous, including Butch Cassidy (inset) and the Sundance Kid, who were known to frequent the legendary 1880 Occidental Hotel during their outlaw days at nearby Hole in the Wall. – BUTCH CASSIDY PHOTO COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/ PHOTO OF OCCIDENTAL HOTEL BY MARK BEDOR –

EXPLORE AMONG GHOSTS & GOLD DUST. Go beyond just watching history. In the mining towns and ghost towns, live in it. Start planning at or call 800-879-1159 ext. 1704.






The 99th Annual Crow Indian Fair Celebration & Powwow will be held at the Crow Agency, Montana, August 16-21, 2017. The spectacular event draws over 50,000 participants and attendees from around the world to “the Teepee Capital of the World,” and one of the largest annual pow-wows in the United States. – MARK BEDOR –

Calamity Jane slept, and where Owen Wister wrote at least part of his famous novel, The Virginian. Longtime owner Margaret Smith, who ran the Occidental for 56 years, hung on to all the old records, furnishings and antiques. And while the place did become so dilapidated it was nearly torn down, new owners came to the rescue in

the 1990s. They not only saved the Occidental from the wrecking ball, but restored it to much of its former glory. Today it’s great fun to spend the night where legends did, or just take a tour. Those old Wyoming cowboy towns are great fun too. And it doesn’t get any more cowboy than Sheridan. Twenty miles north

of Buffalo, this was once home base to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. Don’t miss Don King Saddle Shop, and the King family’s very impressive private museum, featuring authentic Native American artifacts from the 1800s. And you have to take a look inside downtown Sheridan’s famous Mint Bar. Outside town, riders will want to check out Eaton’s Ranch, a historic Wyoming dude ranch the Eatons have opened to guests for five generations. {1.855.592.9943} T R U E



West of Sheridan on the Big Horn Mountains’ Scenic Byway is a historic site high in the Bighorns that the Indians were using long before Columbus set sail. The mystical Medicine Wheel looks like a wagon wheel of GEN. GEORGE CROOK stone laid out on the ground, stretching 75 feet across, at an elevation of teepees set up for the event, Crow Fair easily nearly 10,000 feet. Sacred to American earns its distinction as the teepee capital of the world. Indians, the Medicine Wheel is also a national historic landmark. The Crow Reservation is also home to the The best opportunity to experience Little Bighorn National Monument. But much American Indian culture today is Crow Fair, of the sprawling battlefield, which stretches known as the biggest Indian pow-wow in more than a mile, actually lies on Crow land. the country. The annual August gathering For example, the land along the banks of the on the Crow Indian Reservation welcomes Little Bighorn River, where Sitting Bull and members of all tribes. With some 1,500 thousands of other Indians were camped the

On June 17, 1876, Crazy Horse’s Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyenne forces defeated Gen. George Crook’s (inset) army at the Battle of Rosebud near Busby, Montana. Today, the remote, lightly developed national historic landmark battle site is protected as a state park. – GEORGE CROOK PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY BEINECKE LIBRARY, YALE UNIVERSITY/ROSEBUD BATTLE MONUMENT PHOTOGRAPH BY MARK BEDOR –


Robert FUller

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star of the western TV show Laramie (1959-1963)

Come to the “Old West” for the 2017 Laramie Jubilee Days. (July 8-15, 2017) Our Grand Marshall will be Mr. Robert Fuller from the western TV show Laramie. He will talk about his memories of the show and sign autographs. (July 14th-15th) Nightly PRCA rodeos, special events at the Wyoming Territorial Prison. Parade, brewfest, carnival, street dances, downtown shootouts and more! Ma Make plans to have a dinner with Robert at the Hilton Inn on the evening of July 15th. (For dinner tickets and full schedule go to and

Robert Fuller Played Jess Harper

Laramie has 13 Museums, a Historic Downtown, Amazing Scenery, Wildlife and great Eateries!

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ALBANY • Centennial • Rock River •Woods Landing Download maps and brochures!

H i s t o ry & A dv e n t u r e 1-800-445-5303 T R U E



Fort Phil Kearny State Historic site, located near Banner, between Buffalo and Sheridan, Wyoming, is dedicated to interpreting the history of the Bozeman Trail, the U.S. incursion onto Sioux lands and the subsequent Red Cloud War.

Step Back in time to the 1890’s in Old Trail Town. StepisBack time to the Cody one ofinWyoming’s most1890’s popular in and OldisTrail Town. Cody sites conveniently locatedisonone the of road Wyoming’s most popular to Yellowstone National Park.sites This isand not is conveniently the road to Hollywood,located this is theonreal West! Yellowstone National Park. This is not Hollywood, this is the real West!



Old Trail Town • Cody, WY. 82414 Old Trail Town • Cody, WY. 82414




mining saddlery rifles homesteading railroading fossils hands-on activities (307) 682-5723 900 W 2nd Street Gillette, WY T R U E



OPEN Monday - Saturday 9 am - 5 pm

GOOD EATS & SLEEPS day of the battle, now belongs to a Crow family known as the Real Birds. And the Real Bird property, complete with grandstand, also hosts the re-enactment that takes place the final weekend of U.S. Cavalry School. “My Great-grandfather Medicine Tail, he owned this land here,” explains our genial host Richard Real Bird. “And they say he welcomed everybody here...everybody that wanted to come here and have a sweat lodge or swim in the river. And we continue that. It’s a family tradition.” And so Cavalry School wall tents are set up where Sitting Bull’s teepee village once stood, just steps away from the Little Bighorn River. “Isn’t there something mystic about this?” mused Cavalry School horse-outfitter John Doran one evening. “...When everything’s quiet...and the stars are coming out? This is not a park. This is the Little Bighorn River. How many people can say they’ve ridden across the Little Bighorn on a cavalry horse in a cavalry uniform in a McClellan saddle?” But that’s what we did every day that week. The Little Bighorn is no little

GRUB: Montana Brewing Company (Billings); The Windmill (Crow Agency); Custer Battlefield Trading Post Restaurant (Crow Agency) LODGING: Dude Rancher Lodge (Billings); Northern Hotel (Billings); Dryhead Ranch (Crow Indian Reservation); Yellowstone Bluffs B&B (Miles City)

PLACES TO VISIT Chief Plenty Coups State Park (Crow Agency); Custer Battlefield Museum (Garryowen); Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument (Crow Agency); Pompeys Pillar National Monument (Billings); Rosebud Battlefield State Historic Park (Busby); Rand’s Custom Hats (Billings); Law Dog Hat Company (Billings); Al’s Bootery (Billings); Lou Taubert Ranch Outfitter (Billings); Miles City Saddlery (Miles City); Range Riders Museum (Miles City)

CELEBRATIONS & EVENTS Miles City Bucking Horse Sale (Miles City), May 18-21, 2017; “Custer’s Last Ride” Adventure/ Little Bighorn Cavalry Adventure U.S. Cavalry School (Crow Agency), June 18-25, 2017; Custer’s Last Stand Re-enactment, Last Stand” Reenactment (Crow Agency), June 23-25, 2017; 99th Annual Crow Fair Celebration & Powwow and Rodeo (Crow Agency), August 16-21, 2017

Some historians work in watercolors and oils. WYOMING SIDE ROADS GOOD EATS & SLEEPS GRUB: Hole in the Wall Bar (Kaycee); Bozeman Trail Steakhouse (Buffalo); Busy Bee Café (Buffalo); Winchester Steak House (Buffalo); Invasion Bar & Restaurant (Kaycee); Rib & Chop House (Sheridan); Mint Bar (Sheridan); Black Tooth Brewing Company (Sheridan) LODGING: Historic Sheridan Inn (Sheridan); Historic Mansion House Inn (Buffalo); Occidental Hotel & Saloon (Buffalo); Paradise Guest Ranch (Buffalo); South Forks Mountain Lodge (Buffalo); Circle J Ranch (Tensleep); Eaton’s Ranch (Wolf)

PLACES TO VISIT Fetterman Massacre Historic Site (Banner); Fort Phil Kearny Historic Site (Story); Fort MacKenzie (Sheridan); Medicine Wheel National Historic Landmark (Lovell, east via US14/14A); Wagon Box Fight (Story); Jim Gatchell Museum (Buffalo); Crazy Woman Canyon (Buffalo); Hole in the Wall (Kaycee); Dull Knife Battle Site (Kaycee); Chris LeDoux Monument (Kaycee); Brinton Museum (Sheridan); Don King Museum (Sheridan); King’s Ropes and Saddlery (Sheridan); Sheridan County Museum (Sheridan); Trail End State Historic Site (Sheridan)

CELEBRATIONS & EVENTS 87th Annual Wyo Rodeo (Sheridan), July 10-16, 2017; First Peoples’ Pow Wow (Sheridan), July 12-14, 2017; Longmire Days (Buffalo), July 7-9, 2017; Chris LeDoux Days (Kaycee), June 17-18, 2017

creek—it’s a river. Expert instruction in how to safely ford the river on horseback was our first lesson. By week’s end, we were dashing across the water like old pros. There was a side trip to the site of the Battle of the Rosebud, where eight days before the Custer Fight, Crazy Horse had led an attack on U.S. soldiers advancing from the south under Gen. George Crook. If not for the ferocious fighting of the army’s Shoshone and Crow allies, Rosebud might have been Crook’s Little Big Horn.

Charles M. Russell (1864-1926) The Jerk Line, 1912, oil on canvas, C.M. Russell Museum Collection, Gift of Fred Birch

Charles Marion Russell (1864-1926) is one of America’s greatest artists.

He lived the life he captured on canvas, creating a breathtaking historical record of Western cultures, landscapes and wildlife. Come be inspired by his masterful works. And experience the West as it really was.

Great Falls, Montana | 406.727.8787 |

Kaycee, Wyoming

“Red Wall” Verna Gosney, Artist See where Butch and the gang hid out at the Hole-in-the-Wall and Outlaw Canyon Visit the site where the Johnson Cattle War started on the Powder River or tour Dull Knife Battlefield Home of Chris LeDoux Memorial Park & Chris LeDoux Days June 17 & 18 Hoofprints of the Past Historical Museum Tours: June 10 Hole-in-the-Wall & August 19th Johnson County War Friday Night Rodeo May 26; June 2, 16, 30; July 7,21,28; Aug 18,25 Kaycee Area Chamber of Commerce (307) 738-2444 PO Box 147 Kaycee, WY 82639 [emailprotected] T R U E



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Today the Rosebud Battlefield is a Montana state park. A simple marker tells of the momentous history that happened here 140 years ago. Looking at the hills, you can imagine the desperation where brave men fought and died. Women, too. The Cheyenne people call this battle, “Where the Girl Saved Her Brother,” in honor of the courageous Buffalo Calf Road woman who rode to the rescue of her wounded warrior brother. Also known as Brave Woman, legend says she fought in the Battle of the Little Big Horn, and was the one who struck the blow that knocked Custer from his horse. Like much of this historic area, Rosebud is happily undeveloped, relatively remote and obscure. Quiet, peaceful and beautiful. But you can sense its history. Imagine that drama. Walk where legends did. Ride their trails. The West is still here. All that’s missing is you. Mark Bedor has had been writing about and photographing the American West for nearly 20 years. The author of two Western photography books now hosts the new PBS documentary show Today’s Wild West, streaming free online at

Montana/WyoMing Good reads, Film & TV Books: Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America by T.J. Stiles; The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin; The Gray Fox and the Indian Wars by Paul Magid; Powder River: Disastrous Opening of the Great Sioux War by Paul L. Hedren; Before Barbed Wire: L.A. Huffman, Photographer on Horseback by Mark H. Brown and W.R. Felton; Centennial Campaign: The Sioux War of 1876 by John S. Gray; Plenty-Coups: Chief of the Crow, as told to Frank Linderman; Tough Trip Through Paradise, 1878-1879 by Andrew Garcia Film & TV: They Died With Their Boots On (Warner Bros., 1941); Custer of the West (Cinerama Productions, 1967); Little Big Man (National General, Son of the Morning Star (ABC, 1991); Crazy Horse (TNT, 1996); Into the West (Dreamworks Television, 2005)

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Your Wind River adventure is right around the corner! Not only is the Wind River Hotel and Casino the only place where you can Play, Stay and Win but we also have the perfect adventure packages waiting just for you. Dinosaur Dig Prepare to get your hands dirty as you dig into the past and help find the remnants of a world thought lost. With our Dinosaur dig package, you can spend your day unearthing the bones of a T-rex, Triceratops or a Supersaures. This is an activity the whole family will enjoy with the recent release of the Disney/Pixar film, “The Good Dinosaur,” which was inspired by Wyoming. The Wyoming Dinosaur Center in Thermopolis is also home to over 300 skeletons, various dig sites and a gift shop. White water rafting For the really adventurous, join us on a white water rafting trip through the scenic Wind River Canyon. Wind River Canyon Whitewater & Fly Fishing is a Native American-owned business based in Thermopolis. Guiding the canyon for 20 years, they offer a variety of trips from Memorial Day through Labor Day. One of the most popular trips is the Upper Canyon - Enjoy both the peaceful and calm beginning of this trip and the biggest longest rapid on the river! You are surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of the upper Wind River Canyon at the launch site; then it’s time to get soaking wet! Golf Looking for something more low-key? Take in two rounds of golf at the highly rated Riverton Country Club. Take on the green and enjoy a day with your friends or partner. We offer great hotel packages and other discounts to make this trip a winner.

Northern Arapaho Experience Song and Dance Every Tuesday night during the summer, the Northern Arapaho Experience Song and Dance is a celebration of music, dancing and friendship. These free performances give viewers a glimpse into the world of the Arapaho people. When the music stops, take a walk through our Cultural Room to learn more about our tribe. An Arapaho elder will guide you through the museum that tells the story of our people through paintings, artifacts and stories. Reservation Tours Want to explore more? We can arrange for a private tour of the Wind River Indian Reservation where you can visit the final resting home of Sacajawea, the famous Shoshone Princess who led Lewis and Clark through the Rocky Mountains. The historical petroglyphs outside of Riverton are some of the oldest recorded art in the area. St. Stephens Mission is a popular site for its beautiful stained glass and painted murals. Our experienced tour guides will take you beyond the history books and give you an up close and personal view of the Plains Indian experience.

Visit to find out more information about our packages and book your adventure today.


Drive, ride and hike into the Lone Star State’s storied military past.

At twilight Fort Concho National Historic Landmark takes on a special magic. The 1870s Officers Row is especially evocative with its stately stone structures standing as silent sentinels of a bygone era. – RICK COLLINS –

exans take great pride in their storied past, which is as wide and as deep as the vast Lone Star State itself. Nowhere is a sense of bygone days more evident than the legion of roadside markers that bristle like bayonets in nearly every hamlet and byway of this history-rich land.




Military sites especially abound. They are so numerous that volumes could not capture the full tale of soldiers, their families and the enemies encountered by a succession of forces from Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas and the United States. Indeed, for generations, fierce frontier military men

galloped out on horseback or marched, fought and sometimes died in this rugged region north of the Rio Grande. The story began as early as the 18th century when the Spanish dispatched a vanguard of lance-wielding soldados, padres, prospectors and other civilians to today’s

Texas. One example of the efforts to conquer and colonize this remote area appeared along the San Sabá River. In 1757 a new fortified settlement arose which eventually would be named after the river that flowed outside the walls. During its heyday the San Sabá was a stone presidio, as the Spanish called their forts, measuring nearly 348 by 324 feet with towers on the northwest and southwest to bolster the defenses against the Lipan Apaches who had made their homes in the vicinity before the Spanish appeared. The short-lived colony came to its end during early 1768. Eventually Spanish rule would be replaced by Mexican authority, The town of San Angelo sprang into existence mainly because of nearby Fort Concho’s presence. Today, the downtown buildings, dating from the halcyon frontier era, now house restaurants and stores such as Cactus Book Shop, which is a must. – TRUE WEST ARCHIVES –

Quanah, the son of a white captive mother, Cynthia Ann Parker, and his father, Peta Nocona, a respected Comanche leader, played an important part in staving off westward expansion into his people’s traditional Texas lands. He appears here with his two wives in a rare photograph taken at Fort Concho.

but troops from that republic similarly hauled down their tricolor that in due course would be supplanted by the Stars and Stripes. One of the first bastions to fly Old Glory, Fort Bliss (founded in 1849 as Camp Concordia or aka the Fort at El Paso), has been a fixture on the border for nearly 170 years. Established after the United States secured staggering new territorial gains in the wake of the war with Mexico and the subsequent end of hostilities negotiated as the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Fort Bliss’s original mission was to keep order in the vicinity. Further, this assignment involved protection of hopeful emigrants trudging to California as they headed westward to link up with a trail blazed in part by army Lt. Col. Philip St. Cooke and his Mormon Battalion as part of the duel between Mexico and the United States.

With fewer than 11,000 officers and men in the entire regular army of the dozen pre-Civil War years, this thinly spread force was tasked with national defense from coast to coast and from Canada to Mexico. The military’s assignments of the 1840s and 1850s were daunting, to say the least. Over scores of years, the longtime former frontier garrison of Fort Bliss evolved into one of the most modern and largest United States Army installations in the nation. Today thousands of high tech-savvy dedicated men and women in camouflage combat-battle dress prepare and stand ready to deploy around the globe, in stark contrast to the handful of blue wool-clad frontier troopers who once garrisoned this remote outpost. Some of them found their final resting place in nearby Concordia Cemetery among nearly 60,000 people buried in this hallowed ground. Like Fort Bliss, the old El Paso-San Antonio Road was another feature of antebellum Texas. This vital route to and




El Paso’s martial heritage spans centuries and continues with the presence of Fort Bliss, a former frontier army post-turnedmodern garrison. Troopers from the 13th U.S. Cavalry, shown parading through the downtown in early 1900s, were among the many units stationed in the area. – COURTESY YALE COLLECTION OF WESTERN AMERICANA, BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY –

from California required protection that led to the establishment of a number of firebases along the way, such as the Post at the Limpia, established in 1854. Once again, this outpost assumed responsibility for settlers and travelers, some of whom bumped along as




passengers on the jostling, cramped Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoaches in a locale crisscrossed by traditional Apache and Comanche raiding trails. Eventually the county in which it stood, and the fort itself, changed names, reflecting

the impact of Secretary of War Jefferson Davis. His influence on the region included dispatching army exploration parties to locate the best roadways across the southwestern United States for wagon traffic and eventually the rail beds for the iron horse. Later, Davis would become better known as the president of the Confederate States of America. After Davis’s administration collapsed the United States returned as a single nation

and a contingent was dispatched to re-establish the abandoned site, albeit adjacent to the former fort. This slight shift was not the only change, however, because the post-Civil War U.S. Army differed from its previous makeup. In fact, one of the outcomes of the conflict between North and South was the abolishment of slavery along with the establishment of several regiments of cavalry and infantry that have become popularly known in modern times as the Buffalo Soldiers. Many formerly enslaved blacks joined by freedmen made up the rank and file. Some of these blacks in army blue had served during

Spend your days horseback riding, hiking, lazing by the river or driving the hills. Kick back at a ranch. Honky-Tonk the night away. Listen to the birds and sample the music. Weekly Chuck Wagon Dinners, historic Gunfight Reenactments and nightly music.

Many veterans, including a number of Buffalo Soldiers, are buried among the tens of thousands of people who found their final resting place at El Paso’s inspiring Concordia Cemetery. – THE LYDA HILL TEXAS COLLECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS IN CAROL M. HIGHSMITH’S AMERICA PROJECT, LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, PRINTS AND PHOTOGRAPHS DIVISION –

Live the Lore. Sit Tall in the Saddle. Embrace the Freedom!

Bandera ProRodeo, Memorial Day weekend, kicks off the summer rodeo season. photo by IHorse Photo Media

Join us for year-round Cowboy happenin’s. Voted “The Best Place to Live Like an Old West Cowboy, Winter” by the readers of True West magazine. 830-796-3045 T R U E



follow me to bowie for a celebration April 21-23, 2017 Bowie Texas Family Fun! Longhorn Cattle Drive and Trail Ride! Jake Hooker and the Outsiders and more! Contact Bowie Chamber of Commerce for more info!


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Infantrymen, some of the last to man Fort Davis, prepare to march to the field in the early 1890s. The post closed soon thereafter, but now it is a gem preserved by the National Park Service. – COURTESY YALE COLLECTION OF WESTERN AMERICANA, BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY ¬–

the war. Many others were new to the military, which was the case for the three African American officers who received commissions during the 1870s and 1880s (all other officers were white, based on racial stereotypes of the era). The first to earn this distinction, Henry O. Flipper, graduated from the United States Military Academy’s Class of 1877. Assigned to the 10th U.S. Cavalry, one of the two regiments of African American horse soldiers, Flipper reported to Fort Davis where he earned his spurs during the campaign against the capable, illusive Apache leader, Victorio. Regrettably, the young shavetail’s military career proved short-lived. He would be brought up on charges of conduct unbecoming an officer and other allegations of wrongdoing. Placed




The sights and sounds of the heyday of this once-remote outpost come to life at Fort Davis National Historic Site. – COURTESY NATIONAL PARK SERVICE –



HISTORY? 400 years of legendary outlaws, Spanish exploration and Mexican heritage. Get the official app:

Branding the American West: Paintings and Films, 1900 – 1950

On view through Sept. 9, 2017 • Stark Museum of Art • Orange, TX

Dr. John Vance Lauderdale and his family were among scores of former residents of Fort Davis during its post-Civil War existence. – COURTESY YALE COLLECTION OF WESTERN AMERICANA, BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY –

Ernest Martin Hennings (1886-1956), Indian Horsem*n (detail), c. 1925, oil on canvas, 35.5625 x 39.4375 in., Diane and Sam Stewart Art Collection

See a Side of The West You’ve Never Seen Before. . .

Explore an exhibition of more than 80 works of art and related film content highlighting the changing brands, or imagery of violence, beauty and celebration of the American West. Organized by the Brigham Young University Museum of Art and the Stark Museum of Art, and made possible in part by generous grants from the George S. and Delores Doré Eccles Foundation, the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, and the Utah Division of Arts & Museums. T R U E



Visitors following the Guidon to Fort Davis should plan a visit to nearby Pecos June 21-24, 2017, to attend the world’s first rodeo, the West of the Pecos Rodeo, held each year since 1883. Special skill performances include Mexican charro “La Charreria” roping and riding exhibitions. – JEROD FOSTER, COURTESY PECOS CVB –

in the Fort Davis guardhouse, despite the custom that officers were to be held under house arrest, Flipper faced his court martial in the post chapel pressed into service as a courtroom. A verdict of guilty resulted in the end of his career with a dishonorable discharge from the army. For the remainder of his life the disgraced lieutenant attempted unsuccessfully to regain his commission. Fort Stockton, another way station for those











Bent's Old Fort, similar to Fort Adobe, which was later later became known as Adobe Walls. llustration courtesy of the National Park Service.

From 1843 to 1849, brothers (above, left to right) Charles and William Bent with partner Ceran St. Vrain operated a vast trading empire based at Bent’s Old Fort in southeastern Colorado. One of their many outposts was Fort Adobe in what is now Hutchinson County, Texas. The ruins of Fort Adobe later became known as Adobe Walls.

Kit Carson


The first battle of Adobe Wall was fought on November 24, 1864. Ordered to stop Indian attacks on Santa Fe wagon trains, U. S. Army Col. Kit Carson, 14 officers, 321 enlisted men and 75 Indian scouts attacked Kiowa chief Dohäsan's village of 150 lodges near the ruins of Fort Adobe. Soon realizing he was outnumbered, Carson retreated. Facing great odds, his retreat was praised as an outstanding military operation. Though unable to strike a decisive blow, he is credited with victory.

heading to the West Coast from San Antonio, began in 1858. Within three years federal troops would abandon the camp. In 1861, soon after the outbreak of war with the South, a small Confederate contingent took temporary possession of the vacated facilities. Once more, the newest occupants of the garrison likewise withdrew, leaving behind rapidly deteriorating buildings. Then, during July of 1867, black cavalrymen reported to build a new post under Col. Edward Hatch, regimental commander of the 9th U.S. Cavalry. Hatch would remain in command of this outfit for over two decades. Several of his subordinates also continued with the unit

The Wild West lives on at the Hutchinson County Historical Museum!

After the Louisiana Purchase, even as the earliest explorers crossed the North American continent, America's economic frontier expanded ever-westward. Trappers went to the Rocky Mountains for beaver, Plains Indians traded buffalo hides and the first wagons rolled between the Missouri River and Santa Fe and began commerce with Mexico. The faces of the men shown here are those who were part of the clash of cultures that opened the western United States. The second battle of Adobe Walls occurred on June 27, 1874. A buffalo hunters' camp was built there earlier that year in what is now Hutchinson County Texas, about a mile from Adobe Walls. Led by a young hunter named Billy Dixon, the camp was attacked by about 700 Plains Indians, mostly Kiowas Cheyennes and Comanches, who were led by Quanah Parker Comanche chief Quanah Parker. Dixon made a famous 7/8 of a mile shot that ended the battle. The Hutchinson County Historical Museum features exhibits of the battles at Adobe Walls and other events of this transformative period in American history. HCHM also displays the artifacts and tells the stories of early ranching and farming in the area as well as the story of the Borger Oil Boom in 1926 that changed the economy and the future of the Texas Panhandle.

Billy Dixon

618 North Main Street Borger, Texas 79007 806 • 273 • 0130

Open Tues. - Fri. 9-5, Sat. 1- 4:30 • Free admission • Visit for more information T R U E



Now a city park, Fort Concho is well known for its living history and other programs to both educate and entertain. – PHOTOGRAPHS IN THE CAROL M. HIGHSMITH ARCHIVE, LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, PRINTS AND PHOTOGRAPHS DIVISION –

that called Texas home for many years before moving on to New Mexico Territory and other assignments. Whether staffed by black or white soldiers, the military mission helped fuel local economic growth. Troops needed food, firewood and other necessities that gave rise to booming business for merchants, cattlemen, farmers, freighters and others until the bubble burst with the post’s abandonment in 1886. Another 1867 addition to the chain of Texas post-war forts was dubbed Camp Hatch after the 4th U.S. Cavalry officer Maj. John Porter Hatch who dispatched troopers


TEXAS Custom Cowboy Gear and Western Art Opening Weekend Parties, Sale and Events

Water Break by Herman Walker

April 20-22, 2017 Museum of the Big Bend Alpine, Texas

In The Heart of the Big Bend!

Exhibit Dates: April 20-May 28, 2017 Sponsorship and Ticket Information: 432.837.8143


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The town that bears this name surrounds the former Fort Stockton (left), shown here during the height of its service. – TRUE WEST ARCHIVES –

A re-created barracks interior (below) at Fort Stockton graphically portrays the spartan surroundings for enlisted men of the 1860s through 1890s at Texas’s frontier outposts. – RICK COLLINS –

to the confluence of the Main and Concho rivers. Hatch, a recipient of the Medal of Honor for heroic actions during the 1862 Battle of South Mountain, Maryland, evidently felt it inappropriate for the place to carry his name, so in 1868 he recommended Camp Kelly as a more appropriate title, for a comrade, Capt. Michael J. Kelly, who had died of typhoid fever—a not uncommon scourge for the military and civilian populace during the




Although off the beaten path, the site of Fort McKavett, which traces its origins to an antebellum founding, offers visitors an unprecedented glimpse into life for officers who called meager quarters such as these, home. An array of other surviving structures provide a time machine transporting travelers back to the 1800s. – RICK COLLINS –

period. Eventually that name gave way to one that tied the post to its locale—Fort Concho. Another Buffalo Soldier regiment, the 10th United States Cavalry under Col. Benjamin Grierson a former music teacher-turned-cavalry commander, rode onto the scene. After Grierson’s arrival, he and his successors saw to it that the post grew considerably through the late 1880s. Many large imposing stone structures would sprawl around the parade ground and beyond, forming an

impressive martial community dedicated to maintaining calm in the area and once again priming the coffers for those who supplied the fort’s residents both in garrison and in the field. In the latter instance, patrols launched against the Apache, Comanche, Kiowa and other tenacious Texas tribesmen more than once ran out of their precious food and water

while hunting highly mobile, formidable foes. The Lords of the Plains, as the Comanches had been called by some understandably impressed white adversaries, especially ranged far and wide, sometimes seeking sanctuary in the Llano Estacado (“Staked Plains”), where almost certain death faced those entering this godforsaken, barren wasteland.





Heading east from Fort McKavett, you can head to San Antonio to experience the most legendary Texas fortress of all—the Alamo. – CAROL HIGHSMITH, COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

GOOD EATS & SLEEPS GRUB: L&J Cafe (El Paso); Julio’s Café Corona (El Paso); The State Line (El Paso); Fort Davis Drugstore and Hotel (Fort Davis); The Historic Limpia and Blue Mountain Bistro (Fort Davis); Grey Mule Saloon Tasting Room (Fort Stockton); La Nortena Tamale Factory (Pecos); Pody’s BBQ (Pecos); Mesquite Bean Cafe (San Angelo); Miss Hattie’s Restaurant & Cathouse Lounge (San Angelo) LODGING: Camino Real Hotel (El Paso); Indian Lodge and Black Bear Restaurant at Davis Mountains State Park (Fort Davis); Davis Mountains Inn (Fort Davis); Veranda Historic Inn (Fort Davis); Prude Guest Ranch (Fort Davis); Candlewood Suites (Fort Stockton); Oak Tree Inn and Penny’s Diner (Pecos); Indian Springs Ranch Bed & Breakfast (San Angelo); Flamingo Flatts (San Angelo)

PLACES TO VISIT Concordia Cemetery (El Paso); El Paso Museum of History (El Paso); El Paso’s Mission Trail & Visitor Center (El Paso); Fort Bliss Museum (El Paso); Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site (El Paso); Magoffin Home State Historic Park (El Paso); San Elizario Historic District (El Paso); Wyler Aerial Tramway State Park (El Paso); Davis Mountains State Park (Fort Davis); Fort Davis National Historic Site (Fort Davis); Annie Riggs Memorial Museum (Fort Stockton); Historic Fort Stockton (Fort Stockton); Railway Museum (Fort Stockton); Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame (Pecos); West of the Pecos Museum (Pecos); Fort Concho National Historic Landmark (San Angelo); Cactus Book Shop (San Angelo); San Angelo State Park (San Angelo); The Alamo (San Antonio)


See the fascinating history of South Texas come alive in vibrant murals and learn about the area’s cultural, economic and religious development. View “Vaquero,” a video describing cowboy life in the Wild Horse Desert. Open Tues. - Sat. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday 12 noon to 4 p.m. Admission: $3 Adults $2 Seniors and Teens 13 - 18 Children 12 and under free 200 East LaParra Ave • Sarita, Texas 78385

Information: 361-294-5751 T R U E



Billy the Kid Breakout Show San Elizario Historic District (El Paso), Aug. 20, Oct. 15, Nov. 19; Walk Through History Concordia Cemetery (El Paso), Oct. 15, 2017; Dia De Los Muertos Festival Concordia Cemetery (El Paso), Oct. 29, 2017; Southwestern International PRCA Rodeo (El Paso), June 2-4, 2017; Buffalo Soldier Heritage Day (Fort Concho), Feb. 25, 2018; U.S. Cavalry Association Regional Competition (Fort Concho), April 19-22, 2017; Fort Concho Frontier Day (Fort Concho), April 22, 2017; National Cowboy Day (Fort Concho), July 22, 2017; Night Tours of Fort Concho (Fort Concho), Oct. 24, 2017; Fort Davis National Historic Park (Fort Davis), Evening Programs, June 17-Aug. 12, 2017, Independence Weekend, July 1-2, 2017, Lantern Tours, Oct. 7, 2017, Christmas at the Fort, Dec. 6, 2017-Jan. 6, 2018; Historic Fort Stockton Living History Day (Fort Stockton), October 21, 2017; The West of the Pecos Rodeo (Pecos), June 21-24, 2017; Cinch Rodeo Fiesta (San Angelo), Oct. 27-29, 2017; San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo (San Angelo), Feb. 2-17, 2018

GOOD READS, FILM & TV BOOKS: Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans by T.R. Fehrenbach; The Dancing Was Lively: Fort Concho Texas by Bill Green; The Wolf and Buffalo by Elmer Kelton; Unlikely Warriors: General Benjamin Grierson and His Family by William H. and Shirley A. Leckie; The Texas Frontier and the Butterfield Overland Mail, 1858–1861 by Glen S. Ely; The Most Promising Young Officer: A Life of Ranald Slidell Mackenzie by Michael D. Pierce; Fighting for Uncle Sam: Buffalo Soldiers in the Frontier Army by John Langellier FILM & TV: The Searchers (Warner Brothers, 1956); Buffalo Soldiers (TNT, 1997); Mackenzie’s Raiders (DVD Timeless Video, 1958-1959); The Wonderful Country (United Artists, 1959); Comanche Moon (CBS, 2008)

Col. Ranald S. MacKenzie George Custer was second string when compared to Ranald McKernzie’s exploits and successes in Texas at the head of the 4th United States Cavalry. He once cut a powerful figure at many of the Lone Star State’s forts, as well as the vast wilderness of Texas and northern Mexico. – COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

Outlaw and revolutionary elements likewise loomed large, the former group including the comancheros as arguably the worst of a bad lot! Added to this, the diplomatic complexities of international relations further presented obstacles. In the 1860s European powers had dispatched occupation forces for a time in an effort to establish a puppet government in Mexico propped up by the French. This foreign presence threatened hostilities. Then, too, after the French abandoned their imperialistic adventure, the reconstituted Republic of Mexico frowned on crossings of the international line by Americans, even when hot on the trail of war parties and bandits seeking refuge across the border. But there were those who with equal determination sought to bring a tenacious array of rampaging raiders to bay. Among them, Col. Ranald S. MacKenzie might be considered the true unsung hero of the legions who followed the Guidon in Texas. Last year John Langellier “field-tested” this travelogue with photographer Rick Collins as part of his Border to Border Buffalo Soldier Book Tour, promoted by True West magazine.




The Best Old West Eyewear “Reproduction 1800’s spectacles to suit all sights”

Bill Holden

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Lincoln and Custer Collections, American Indian History, Arts & Crafts. Helping collectors and history buffs learn more about specific events and people in American history.

[emailprotected] • Follow us on Facebook! Online sales Or visit us at Our new lOcatiOn 7830 E. Redfield Rd. Suite 1 Scottsdale, AZ • 480-945-8811 T R U E



LONGHORNS HEAD to TAIL STORE 35000 Muskrat TW Barnesville, OH 43713 740 758-5050

The largest collection of new and out of print Civil War & Western Americana books.

Texas Longhorn Skulls The ultimate western decor. Real, authentic, home-grown Texas Longhorn skulls for a true Western flavor. Polished – ready to hang. Photos and data at: –Priced from $225

Worried About The Back Trail” Gouache, 12” X 10” art print $45 plus S&H

Check out BBB’s new website where he posts his daily whipouts.


WILD WILD WEST FEST ers Andrews, TX, April 29-30: Buffalo Soldi ers re-enactors and cowboy mounted shoot Texas celebrate frontier heritage in this West town named after a Texas Revolution hero. 432-523-2695 •

GENO A COW BOY FEST IVAL d Genoa, NV, April 28-30: Dress up in perio c, poetry, clothes and gather for live cowboy musi s. history demonstrations and workshop g 775-782-8696 • GenoaCowboyFestival.or



MINOT SPRING ART & CRAFT FAIR Minot, ND, April 7-8: Soak up some history in this 1886 rail town as you browse the locally made arts, crafts and baked goods. 701-837-6059 • TAOS SOCIETY OF ARTISTS Scottsdale, AZ , Closes April 30: Highlights selections of dramatic landscapes and American Indian art by 19 Taos Society of Artists members; sponsored by the Scottsdale Art Auction. 480-686-9539 •


CALIFORNIA IMAGES & HISTORY San Dimas, CA, April 28-30: Paintings and sculptures by Western artists celebrate the state of California and its rich cowboy heritage. 909-599-5374 •

LA VINA SPRING FESTIVAL La Union, NM, April 29-30: Taste wines from New Mexico’s oldest operating winery that started off in a small adobe with 14 acres of vineyards. 575-882-7632 •



SCOTTSDALE ART AUCTION Scottsdale, AZ, April 8: Bid on Western and wildlife art, with an emphasis on Old West artists, who include Frank Tenney Johnson and E.I. Couse. 480-945-0225 •

ROCKY MOUNTAIN GUN SHOW Farmington, NM, April 1-2: Gun enthusiasts and hunters take a ride on the Trails of the Ancients Byway to inspect this show’s weapons and ammo. 801-589-0975 •








saturday hilton garden inn 12603 mariposa road . victorville, ca May 20, 2017, 6:00 pm

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TRAPPINGS OF TEXAS Alpine, TX, April 20-22: The nation’s second-oldest trappings show offers cowboy gear and traditional Western art at the Museum of the Big Bend. 423-837-8143 • CROSSROADS OF THE WEST GUN SHOW Sandy, UT, April 8-9: Browse for firearms at this gun show that claims it attracts more guests than any other gun show in the nation. 801-544-9125 • TEXAS GUN & KNIFE SHOW Kerrville, TX, April 22-23: Head to Texas Hill Country for a selection of new and used guns, knives, gold and silver coins, and jewelry. 830-285-0575 • H ER ITA G E


THE COWTOWN THAT RAISED A PRESIDENT Abilene, KS, Opens April 1: This Chisholm Trail Sesquicentennial exhibit showcases artifacts, photos and stories about the cowtown where Dwight D. Eisenhower grew up. 785-263-6700 •

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




storytelling, trick roping and a barn dance. 940-872-1173 • NORTHWEST CHERRY FESTIVAL The Dalles, OR, April 21-23: Honors the cherry rootlings brought to Oregon by covered wagon that made The Dalles a prominent grower. 541-296-2231 • GALVESTON COUNTY FAIR Galveston, TX, April 21-29: Head to the island that boasts many firsts for Texas and take in the rodeo, livestock auctions, cook-offs and concerts. 409-986-6010 • SOUTHWEST NATIVE TRAILS TOUR AZ, NM, TX, April 22-May 5: Hike the paths of American Indians and settlers to pueblos, reservations and Southwest frontier towns. 877-538-5353 •

ROSE TREE PARADE & FESTIVAL Tombstone, AZ, April 7-8: The blooming of the “World’s Largest Rose Tree,” planted in 1885, is celebrated with a parade and folklorico dances. 520-457-3326 •

EUREKA RENDEZVOUS DAYS Eureka, MT, April 26-28: This Mountain Man tribute offers blackpowder shoots along with street bed races, a quilt show and flea market. 406-297-7374 •

FIESTA SAN ANTONIO San Antonio, TX, April 20-30: Old San Antonio and Old Mexico history is honored with fandangos and a pilgrimage to the 18th-century Alamo mission. 877-273-4378 •

S.E.G.H.S. HISTORY CONFERENCE El Paso, TX, April 28-30: Learn about the various Camino Reals of Texas and commemorate the April 1598 birth of the American Southwest. 915-851-0093 •

CHISHOLM TRAIL 150TH ANNIVERSARY Bowie, TX, April 21-23: Jesse Chisholm gets his tribute in a longhorn cattle drive, chuckwagon

ARBOR DAY CELEBRATION Nebraska City, NE, April 28-30: The home of the first Arbor day, in 1872, celebrates heritage with

free trees, a chili cook-off and a parade. 800-514-9113 • M US IC



LLANO FIDDLE FEST Llano, TX, April 1-2: Some of the best fiddlers from Texas and beyond compete as they carry on traditions created by musicians of the past. 325-247-5354 • P OWWO W

MSU AMERICAN INDIAN COUNCIL POWWOW Bozeman, MT, April 11-12: Montana’s largest powwow features dance and drum competitions, and a basketball tournament. 406-994-4880 • RODEOS

Visit one of Texas’ most historic cemeteries. John Wesley Hardin, John Selman, Buffalo Soldiers, and the only dedicated Chinese Cemetery in the state.




CAVE CREEK RODEO DAYS Cave Creek, AZ, April 1: Cowboys and cowgirls compete in a PRCA rodeo, plus dances, a rodeo parade and a mutton bustin’ competition. 480-488-1400 • “REAL” RANCH HORSE INVITATIONAL SALE Billings, MT, April 14-15: Purchase a true ranch horse that can travel long distances in rough country and knows how to work hard. 406-446-2203 •

Learn about the movers and shakers that forged the Old West. JOHN WESLEY HARDIN 1853 ~ 1895

Veterans from the War of 1812 through recent conflicts, as well as “The World’s Tallest Man,” reside in permanency. Learn about former leaders of the Mexican Revolutions who were buried at Concordia.

Join the Secret Society of John Wesley Hardin - August 19, 2017 at 6 p.m., to commemorate John Wesley Hardin’s demise—and on October 21, 2017, from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., for the annual “Walk Through History.” Monthly Ghost Tours, 1st and 2nd Saturday of each month. 9 p.m. - 11 p. m. Reservations Required: 915-274-9531. Don’t miss Dia De Los Muertos; Day of the Dead, October 28, 2017, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tours, shrines, exhibits and more. 3700 East Yandell • El Paso, Texas

WRANGLER TEAM ROPING CHAMPIONSHIP Thermopolis, WY, April 14-15: Readies amateur team ropers for the pros as they compete for prizes and national sponsorships. 406-348-2460 • OKLAHOMA CENTENNIAL HORSE SHOW Oklahoma City, OK, April 20-23: Commemorating the Land Run of 1889, these riders show off the talents of show horses. 316-650-2287 • NORTH DAKOTA WINTER SHOW QUARTER HORSE SHOW Valley City, ND, April 29-30: Quarter horse heritage breeders congregate with buyers and horse lovers in this 1874 rail town. 701-845-1401 •

ARIZONA HISTORY CONVENTION Flagstaff, AZ, April 20-22: True West’s Executive Editor Bob Boze Bell and Historical Consultant Paul Andrew Hutton share Apache Wars history, along with other Arizona history presentations. 520-628-5774 •

View Western events on our website.





WHILE THEY LAST! 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

Sep-2000 Border Breed

May/Jun-2001 Doc Holliday

Aug/Sep-2001 Wild Bill

Aug/Sep-2002 Defeat of Jesse James

Jul-2003 Doc & Wyatt

Aug-2004 John Wesley Hardin

Jan/Feb-2005 Rare Photos

Mar-2005 Deadwood/McShane

Dec-2006 Buffalo Gals & Guys

May-2007 Billy The Kid

Nov/Dec-2008 Mickey Free

Nov/Dec-2010 Black Warriors of the West

Mar-2013 Arizona Rangers

Aug-2013 Tombstone-The Walk Down

Dec-2014 Women Who Left Their Mark

Dec-15 First Mountain Man

Apr-2016 Lonesome Dove

Order your back issues today!

See the complete collection of available back issues online at the True West Store!

TO ORDER: Call us at 888-687-1881 or order online at

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]

Laying Track?

BY Marshall TriMBle

What music did Gen. Santa Anna request during the Alamo battle?

What’s actor Dennis Weaver’s story? Charlene Allison Los Angeles, California

Elinor Hobart Kansas City, Missouri

“El Deguello,” an old battle song originally used by Muslims to signify no quarter given. The name comes from the Spanish word degollar which means “to cut the throat.” Santa Anna was telling the Texans that his men would take no prisoners. And they didn’t.

Did the “Buntline Special” gun really exist? Ralph G. Swanson Prescott, Arizona

Western historians disagree over whether Wyatt Earp ever carried a longbarrel pistol. All we know for sure is that Stuart Lake coined the phrase in 1931’s Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal. The late Joe Rosa told me: “When I visited Colt in the early 1970s, I recall Marty Huber, who then ran the research division, was very anti-Lake and -the others who had invented the Buntline story simply because [the gun manufacturer] was inundated with requests for information. Also, my own and others’ research concluded that Ned Buntline never visited Dodge City, Kansas, and during the 1876 celebrations, was very much in the East.” Author Lee Silva believes Buntline did present five 10-inch-barrel (not 12-inch) “Buntline Specials” to ex-buffalo hunters Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Bill Tilghman, Neil Brown and Charlie Bassett, using them as bribes to convince them to replace “Buffalo Bill” Cody, “Texas Jack” Omohundro and “Wild Bill” Hickok in his theatrical play. Silva says Colt only kept shipping records, not production records, so the factory would have no record if Buntline picked up the weapons there. t r u e


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Hugh O’Brian, as Wyatt Earp, holds his legendary “Buntline Special.” – COurteSy ABC –

How did “Killer” Jim Miller escape justice for so long? Duff Hale Midlothian, Texas

Early on, “Killer” Jim Miller kept a public front as a solid citizen who attended church, never swore or used alcohol or tobacco, and was devoted to his family. People just couldn’t believe that such a man was a cold-blooded killer. But Miller also put a lot of planning into his “hits,” specifically looking at how he could avoid suspicion or beat the rap if he was arrested. He also hired some of the best attorneys around and wasn’t against bribing, threatening or eliminating witnesses. That’s how one of the West’s worst killers ran free for about 25 years before a lynch mob got him in 1909.

In a career that lasted more than 50 years, Dennis Weaver was best known as Chester, Matt Dillon’s trusty deputy on Gunsmoke from 1955-1964. Between 1970 and 1977, he starred as the title character on McCloud, a “cowboy in the big city” Western. His various cowboy roles ranged from the trail boss in 1978’s Centennial miniseries to a retired cowboy actor in “The Latest Gun in the West” episode of the animated Fox series The Simpsons. Weaver was a Navy pilot during WWII. In 1948, he became a decathlon finalist in the trials for the U.S. Olympics. He made his film debut in Universal’s The Redhead from Wyoming in 1952. After earning an Emmy for his role in Gunsmoke in

Did Old West trains have bathrooms? Terry Gin Columbus, Ohio

Yep, they sure did. Early toilets ranged from a Hooper Toilet, which was a hole in the floor (drop chute), to primitive flushing systems. The waste was dropped to the track bed. For sanitary reasons, when the train was in the station, the toilets were locked. Railroads throughout the world still dispose of waste that way.

Jim Miller—dressed to kill. – COurteSy rOBert G. MCCuBBin COlleCtiOn –

The Rustler Cattle Drive Bronze

People so historic, we cast them in bronze.

Most know Dennis Weaver as Deputy Chester Goode in Gunsmoke. – Courtesy CBs –

1959, he represented his peers as the president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1973 to 1975. He was also a talented musician, who released Country Western albums, and he performed on the stage, in a one-man Shakespearean play and in a family variety show. When he died in 2006, he wanted to be remembered for his humanitarian and environmental efforts; he dedicated 175 acres with Rocky Mountain views for a wildlife preserve in Ridgway, Colorado. Although most remember him as a peace officer or detective on television, Weaver was a gifted renaissance man.

Why do Western actors rarely wear spurs on screen? Charles “Spade” Phillips Odessa, Texas

Mostly because of animal welfare concerns. Audiences don’t want the horses hurt. Leaving out spurs may be excessive, since spurs aren’t intended to cause pain or injury. Even the actors who do wear spurs often use rubber duplicates for riding scenes or stunts. Any good cowboy will tell you spurs are not there to hurt the animal; a slight touch is usually enough to get the horse to respond.

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The best Doc in the movies is Val Kilmer in 1993’s Tombstone. The second best was Dennis Quaid in 1994’s Wyatt Earp (left). He put a harder edge on Doc’s personality; if he had better lines (and wardrobe), he might have been a more realistic, if less appealing Doc.

If Doc were alive today, I would ask him about his family in Georgia. His relationships there—his doting and dying mother, his stern and distant father, his first cousin Mattie who he kept in touch with throughout his life and some say was his true love, his uncles and cousins and friends— shaped his character even before he went West.


My daddy always told me that the measure of a man is found in his character rather than his color, ethnicity, social class, financial condition or education. It is a mistake to start a biography—or other form of history—by trying to prove that someone is a villain or a hero. Jesuit Father Francis Paul Prucha, a historian whose writings greatly influenced me, wrote that the historian must not care what the truth is. His only task is to find it. It is a whole lot easier to “prove” Doc, or any other Western figure, was a scoundrel or a hero than to find the truth. All you have to do is find sources that support your preconceived prejudice.

I wish I knew today what was in those letters from Doc that Sister Mary Melanie (Mattie) kept, what happened to letters that he wrote to other relatives and friends, what Zan Griffith, Lee Smith and other little known associates of Doc could have told me, and many other things that the absence of a real record forces me to speculate about.

I first learned about Doc in TV Westerns (The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, Maverick and others) and in 1957’s The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, where Kirk Douglas’s Doc was more interesting than Burt Lancaster’s Wyatt Earp. My initial view of Doc was shaped more by Burns’s portrait of him in his Tombstone book. The Doc myth that really grinds me is the persistent notion that Doc was a fatalist who wanted to die. I found him to be cynical and full of self-pity for more reasons than his consumption, but plenty of evidence showed he wanted to live, and to live with dignity. He developed a seemingly cavalier approach to danger, but that was more about survival than a death wish. “I’m your huckleberry” was a common phrase in the 19th century, but no evidence shows Doc used it. It was attributed to him by Walter Noble Burns, in his 1927 book, Tombstone: An Iliad of the Southwest. Stories about Doc’s death are filled with misinformation. Neither Big Nose Kate nor Wyatt Earp were with T R U E



GARY L. ROBERTS, DOC HOLLIDAY BIOGRAPHER An emeritus professor of history at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia, Gary Roberts is a widely recognized historian of the American West. His works include Doc Holliday: The Life and Legend and Death Comes for the Chief Justice: The Slough-Rynerson Quarrel and Political Violence in New Mexico. His most recent volume, Massacre at Sand Creek: How Methodists Were Involved in an American Tragedy, was published by Abingdon Press in 2016. him. Doc was not living in a sanitarium, but in a Glenwood Springs hotel in Colorado. In his last weeks of pain, pneumonia and delirium, he was taken care of primarily by two bellboys. His resources exhausted, gamblers and saloonkeepers helped pay his bills.

I’ve found no evidence before Burns’s Tombstone that Doc’s last words were, “This is funny.”

I am researching Doc’s largely unknown sojourn in Butte, Montana Territory, in 1885-86. An interview with Bat Masterson provided the clue to his visit there, and my follow-up research has uncovered a fascinating story of what might be called Doc’s “last hurrah.” My next book will be a comprehensive study of the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864. This will be a culmination of more than 50 years of research into the characters, causes, controversies and consequences of a critical event in the history of American Indianwhite relations. My hope is that it will also provide insight into the nature of violence and cultural conflict.

Once again, we’re the best in the west. True West has once again put Deadwood on it’s Best in the West list. We’re tops for entertainment, preservation and being one of the top True Western Towns. Walk in the footsteps of Wild West legends and visit the gravesites of Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Seth Bullock, watch daily re-enactments, try your luck in the gaming halls and explore world-class museums. Plan your trip to

Historic Deadwood and see for yourself how we’ve been Entertaining Guests Since 1876. • 800-344-8826

800-732-5682 •

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