Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp arrived in Wichita in 1874 and applied to be a policeman. He left under somewhat of a cloud (sort of 'asked to leave') and headed for Dodge City in 1876.

Doc HollidayJohn Henry "Doc" Holliday was baptized March 21, 1852 in Griffin, Georgia. He was raised in the traditions of the Old South and graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery in 1872. He already, at this time, was battling consumption (tuberculosis) and he moved West to drier climates.

He practiced dentistry briefly in Dallas but soon discovered his prowess as a gambler, a poker and faro player, and began drifting throughout the West -- Jacksboro, Texas; Pueblo and Denver, Colorado.; Cheyenne, Wyoming.; Deadwood, South Dakota; Dodge City, Kansas; Trinidad and Leadville, Colorado.; and Las Vegas, New Mexico; ending up in Tombstone, Arizona in 1880. During this time, he gained a reputation as a drinker, fighter, and killer.

Holliday had befriended Wyatt Earp in Dodge City and, when in Tombstone, joined the Earp brothers in the celebrated gunfight at the O.K. Corral against the Clanton gang in 1882. From then on, he drifted and died five years later on November 8, 1887 in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, where he had  gone for treatment of his tuberculosis.


Bat MastersonBorn William Bartholomew Masterson on Nov. 27, 1853, Henryville, Canada East [Quebec], he grew in New York, Illinois, and Kansas.  Leaving home at 19, he eventually became a buffalo hunter and Indian scout, working out of Dodge City, Kansas (1873-75).

In January 1876 in Sweetwater, Texas, he killed a man and a dance-hall girl in a quarrel and fled back to Dodge City where he spent the next ten years, becoming sometime Ford county sheriff (1877-79) and deputy U.S. marshal (1879) identified with the local town bosses known as "the Gang," but working mostly as saloonkeeper and gambler.

He made visits to other western towns, including Tombstone, AZ, where he briefly worked with Wyatt Earp at the Oriental Saloon. He ended his Western days in plush Denver gambling houses (1887-1902), until reform-minded citizens asked him to leave. Masterson's final years were spent in New York City, where he was successively deputy U.S. marshal for the southern district of New York (appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt), feature writer for Human Life Magazine, and a prominent sports editor for the New York Morning Telegraph. On October 25, 1921 he died at his desk of a heart attack.

The man who became marshal of Abilene, Kansas, on April 15, 1871, was deadly in a confrontation. 1871 Abilene may well have been the toughest town in the West and Hickok's reputation as a marksman gave rise to legends and tales about his life. This American frontiersman, army scout, marksman, and gambler became an American legend. (Hickok Page)

Wild Bill
"Wild Bill" Hickok
as sketched by N.C. Wyeth in 1904

Billy the KidBorn Henry McCarty on November 23, 1859/60 on New York City's EastSide, Billy the Kid (William H. Bonney) was one of the most notorious gunfighters of the American West, reputed to have killed at least 27 men before being gunned down at about age 21. As a child he moved with his parents to Kansas where he grew up on the streets of Wichita. After his father died, his mother and her two boys moved to Colorado, where she remarried. The family moved to New Mexico, and, in his early teens, Billy fell into a career of thievery and lawlessness, wandering throughout the Southwest and northern Mexico, often with gangs.

In December 1880 he was captured by Sheriff Patrick Floyd Garrett and stood trial for murder in Mesilla, N.M., in April 1881; he was found guilty and sentenced to hang. He escaped jail on April 30, however, killing two deputies, and remained at large until tracked down and ambushed by Garrett, who shot him dead on the evening of July 14, 1881 at the ranch home of  Pete Maxwell.

Billy the Kid's grave is in Fort Sumner, N.M. Garrett's trails continued to the Roswell area, where he made his home. He made trails to the gold and turquoise mines in the Jicarilla Mountains, he followed the trails of Albert Fountain, trying to solve his mysterious disappearance. On the trail from Organ to Las Cruces, Pat Garrett met his death, in 1908, and is buried in the Masonic cemetery in Las Cruces.

Another hypothesis is that Billy the Kid was in fact Ollie L. "Brushy Bill" Roberts, who escaped, lived in Mexico and the U.S. Southwest, rode in Wild West shows, and died in 1950 in Hico, Texas.



BankTypical of the times, dead outlaws were put on display and photographed. Here is the Dalton gang, shot by angry citizens while trying to rob the Coffeyville Bank on October 5, 1892. A fifth member, Emmett Dalton escaped, but was later captured, sentenced to life, and pardoned after 14 years. He also played a leading role in a movie made about the raid.



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