Today in Old West History
1861- Mesilla, New Mexico Territory- Confederate forces, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel John B. Baylor, occupy the town.
1862- President Lincoln signs the Pacific Railroad Act, adopting the 42nd Parallel Route, which authorized the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific Railroads to build the first transcontinental railroad. The two railroads were loaned capital at the rate of $16,000 per mile over prairie land and $48,000 over mountainous terrain. The act also granted them ten sections of public land per mile for the track that linked Omaha, Nebraska and Sacramento, California.
1863- Cabin Creek, Kansas- a victorious Colonel Williams leads 800 members of the 1st Kansas Colored along with 500 Indians against a force of Texas Confederates lead by Cherokee chief and Confederate general Stand Watie.
1865- Present day Colorado- Camp Tyler is established on the South Platte River Road. It is later named Fort Morgan.
1871- Grayson County, Texas - Richard Johnson was a Texas cowboy who sided with the Lee faction in the bloody Lee-Peacock Feud that raged during the 1860s. Johnson was a half brother of the Dixon Brothers, Simp, Bob, and Charles, who all fought with Bob Lee against the forces of Lewis Peacock. Bob Lee, leader of the Lee faction, was killed in June 1869 and Johnson moved to west Texas to raise cattle. When Charles Dixon was killed by the Peacocks in 1871, Johnson returned to Grayson County to hunt down and kill Lewis Peacock, leader of the Peacock clan. Accompanied by Joe Parker, Johnson went to Peacock's ranch and climbed into a tree in the middle of the night, perching there with a rifle. At dawn Lewis Peacock emerged from his ranch house and stood on the front porch. Johnson fired a bullet into Lewis Peacock's heart, killing him on the spot. He then fled and was never apprehended for this murder. The Lee-Peacock Feud came to an abrupt end.
1875- Little Popo Agie River, Wyoming- the 2nd Cavalry reports killing two Indians in a battle.
1876- Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory- the first news of the Little Bighorn battle reaches the fort. Crow scouts, Speckled Cock and Horned Toad, tell the Indians there of a big fight and of a white leader (Custer) who committed suicide.
1883- Arizona Territory- the stage running through Black Canyon is robbed for the second time in three days.
1887- Texas- Gunman and rancher Clay Allison was returning from Pecos, where he purchased supplies for his ranch. Apparently he had been drinking, for about forty miles from Pecos, the gunfighter toppled from the buckboard he was driving and fell beneath the wheel of the heavily laden wagon. The horses jerked forward and the wheel crushed Allison's head, almost decapitating him.
1890- North Dakota- prohibition goes into effect.
1892- Cherokee Strip- the Dalton Gang stopped a train, near Red Rock at about 9 p.m. They quickly forced the door of the express car and held the guard at bay while they took $11,000 from the small safe. Within twenty minutes, the bandits had remounted their horses and ridden off into the hills, whooping and hollering triumph as they went.
1898 - Spanish-American War - the 9th and 10th Cavalry, with Theodore Roosevelt and his ``Rough Riders'' waged a victorious assault on San Juan Hill in Cuba
1860- Montana Territory- the American Fur Company's steamboat, the Chippewa, becomes the first to penetrate the upper Missouri landing at Fort Benton.
1861- Leavenworth, Kansas- U.S. Commissioner William P. Dole signs a treaty with the Delaware tribe.
1863- Fort Bridger- Chief Washakie of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe signs a treaty. He promised not to attack emigrants in return for $10,000 a year in goods for 20 years.
1869- Indian Territory- Camp Wichita is renamed Fort Sill, in honor of General Joshua Sill.
1885- Fort Carlton Saskatchewan - Big Bear surrenders to General Strange after his men run out of food and ammunition/ This was the end of Rebellion; Big Bear was sentenced with Poundmaker to three years in Stony Mountain Penitentiary.
1888- Gloucester Beach, New Jersey- the Pawnee Bill Frontier Exhibition opens with Annie Oakley as the headliner.
1899- Cape Verde, Arizona Territory- Thomas Ketchum (1866-1901), AKA Black Jack, put together a tough band of outlaws gathered from the celebrated Hole-in-the-Wall area in Wyoming. His brother Sam was also called Black Jack at times. Although Ketchum was a feared gunman, he was an uninspired robber who was easily tracked by lawmen when they realized that Ketchum would rob the same train or stagecoach over and over again and in the same location. On this date, Tom Ketchum arrived in town, and immediately got drunk in a saloon. He then sat down to a poker game with several miners. When two burly miners made fun of his drunken conduct, Ketchum suddenly sobered. He jumped up and swept back his long black coat so that his two guns showed and then ordered the miners to go for their guns. The miners reached for their guns and Ketchum shot them both, mortally wounding them. He then fled the town.
1916 - Ken Curtis was born. A few of his movies are The Alamo, Conagher, How the West Was Won. He was also a singer: with the Tommy Dorsey Band, and with Roy Rogers and Sons of the Pioneers. Ken was best known as Festus Haggen in "Gunsmoke" Ken passed away Apr 29, 1991 shortly after completing the movie Conagher.
1862-Locust Grove, Indian Territory- Union forces are the victors in a battle with Confederate troops.
1865- Fort Laramie, Dakota Territory (present day Wyoming)- General Connor arrives with orders to protect the Overland Mail Company's stagecoaches from Arapaho Indians.
1867- Colorado Territory- the 3rd Infantry from Fort Wallace, Kansas, reports one soldier wounded near Goose Creek.
1869- Hell Canyon, Arizona Territory- four Indians are killed in a fight with the 8th Cavalry.
1871 - The Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad Company introduced the first narrow-gauge locomotive. It was called the Montezuma.
1873- Phoenix, Arizona Territory- vigilantes lynch a rustler who stole a widow's cow.
1876- Montana Territory- the steamship The Far West begins her journey down the Yellowstone River carrying the bodies of George Custer and his men, Reno's wounded, and the horse Comanche.
1876- Montana Territory- the first newspaper account of Custer's battle appeared in the Bozeman Times.
1878- San Patricio, New Mexico Territory- a posse under J.J. Dolan terrorizes the town as they search for Regulators.
1884- DHS Ranch, Montana Territory- E.C. Abbott, AKA Teddy Blue, records that the outfit, under the leadership of Granville Stuart, hung a rustler between the DHS spread and Fort Maginnis.
1888- Pinal, Arizona Territory- Wyatt Earp's second wife, Celia "Mattie" Blaylock, committed suicide. Mattie had accompanied Wyatt to Tombstone and separated from the lawman after his Tombstone days and tragically wound up living in the seedy gold and silver towns as a prostitute.
1890- Idaho became the 43rd state of the Union.
1897- Eldorado Creek, Yukon Territory - G. A. Lancaster files claim on Eldorado Creek, Yukon, later known as Gold Hill.
1901- Wagner, Montana- Butch Cassidy and Sundance with the help of Kid Curry and the Wild Bunch rob a Great Northern train. It was their last American robbery. More than $40,000 was taken from the safe but most of it was in unsigned bank notes. This never bothered the Wild Bunch. Bill Carver or someone else with good penmanship merely signed the notes and these were quickly cashed or passed.
1901- Calgary, Alberta- W.F. (Billy) Cochrane introduced the automobile to Calgary. The car was a steam-powered Locomobile, steered by a tiller rather than a wheel.
1965- Trigger, beloved horse of Roy Rogers, died.
1854- Ft. Dodge Iowa -Lawman & buffalo hunter Bill Tilghman was born.
1864- Congress passes the Immigration Act, which allowed the railroads, and other companies, to import Chinese laborers due to the shortage created by the Civil War.
1866- Kansas- the Superintendent of Indian Affairs signs a treaty with the Delaware Indians at their agency.
1867- Fort Hays, Kansas- due to floods the previous month the fort is relocated south of what will become Hays City.
1869- Deer Trail, Colorado Territory- in one of the “first” rodeo ever, cowboy Emilne Gardenshire wins the title “champion bronco buster of the plains,” and a new suit.
1870- Texas- the first Seminole-Negroes recruited as U.S. Army scouts by Major Zenas R. Bliss enlisted for 6 months, after returning to the United States from Mexico. Organized into a band that usually averaged about 50 men, the group fought in numerous expeditions against various Indian tribes in Texas. During the Indian Wars, four of the scouts won the Congressional Medal of Honor. The Seminole-Negro scouts served the Army with distinction until 1914.
1872- Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory- wild-steer riding is added to the competition at an early rodeo.
1874- Wyoming Territory- the 2nd Cavalry and its scouts engaged Indians on the Bad Water ranch on the Wind River. Twenty-six Indians were killed and twenty wounded. Four soldiers were killed and six wounded.
1876- Helena, Montana Territory- the Helena Herald reports the Little Bighorn battle.
1876- Deadwood, Dakota Territory- black cowboy Nat Love wins a mustang roping contest and a shooting match. In addition to the prize money he is given the alias “Deadwood Dick.”
1878- New Mexico Territory- Billy the Kid and his Regulators have a long-range shootout with rival factions of the Seven Rivers gang at John Chisum's South Spring River ranch. No one was injured.
1880- at an Independence Day horse race Arizonan George Warren bet his share in the Copper Queen Mine. His horse lost and his share would later have been worth $20 million dollars.
1881- Tombstone, Arizona Territory- Virgil Earp became Town Marshal.
1883- North Platte, Nebraska- Buffalo Bill Cody presents an early version of his famous Wild West show featuring cowboys, Indians, trick riders, and sharp shooters.
1883- Pecos, Texas- the town claims to hold history's first rodeo.
1884- Dodge City, Kansas- Bullfighting was introduced in America.
1884- Montana Territory- E.C. Abbott, AKA Teddy Blue, records that the outfit under the leadership of Granville Stuart, owner of the DHS Ranch, rode to the mouth of the Musselshells and hung Billy Downs and “another fellow” and two more at Rocky Point
1886 - Prescott, Arizona- another “first rodeo in America” was held.
1886- Blackfoot Crossing, Alberta - Poundmaker dies at the home of his foster father, Chief Crowfoot, after spending a year in jail at Stony Mountain; former chief of the Cree band that held Fort Battleford under siege and defeated the troops of Col. W.D. Otter at Cut Knife Hill in southern Saskatchewan.
1886- Port Moody, British Columbia- Crowd of 1500 cheer as the Pacific Express, the CPR's first scheduled transcontinental passenger train from Montreal, rolls into Port Moody, the western terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway, after a five and a half day journey of 4650 kilometers.
1858- Kansas Territory (present day Colorado)- William Green Russell and a party of whites and Cherokees from Georgia discover gold on the future site of Denver.
1858- Texas- a new wagon road from Fort Yuma to El Paso skirting the Gila Desert is completed.
1861- Cartage, Missouri- Union soldiers attack pro-secessionists Missouri troops. The confederates out number the Federal troops 3 to 1 and drive the invaders back. Frank James and Cole Younger met at this battle.
1867- Oregon Territory- two companies of the 1st Cavalry, led by Lieutenant Colonel George Crook, fight Indians on Dunder and Blitzen Creek, killing five and capturing three.
1871- Jacksboro, Texas- Satanta and Big Tree are sentenced to hang by a cowboy jury for their part in killing seven men in raids in Texas. Satanta had bragged of the killings at Fort Sill and was arrested on the spot.
1871- Kansas- Mexican-born Juan Bideno worked as a cowboy but was known as a fast-gun and hired out for killings, one report has it. In June 1871, Bideno signed on to a cattle drive from Texas to the railhead at Abilene, Kansas. The trail boss was 22-year-old Billy Cohron, who noticed Bideno's slack work and called him on it several times, leading to hard words between the pair. As the herd crossed the Cottonwood River on this date, Cohron and Bideno again fell to arguing and then went for their guns. Bideno shot the youthful trail boss dead and fled, riding south toward Texas. Bideno was later killed by John Wesley Hardin.
1876- Bismark, Dakota Territory- the steamboat The Far West completes its journey down the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers, 710 miles in 54 hours.
1876- Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory- the wives of the men of the 7th Cavalry congregate at the Custer home to sing hymns but a feeling of “impending disaster” ends the singing. None of the women know what happened to their husbands, who survived and who didn't.
1881- Tombstone, Arizona Territory- Judge Spicer issues a warrant for the arrest of Doc Holliday for complicity in the murder of Bud Philpot, and the attempted stage robery near Contention several months before. Cochise County sherff John Behan arrests Holliday, who is immediately released on $5,000 bail put up by Wyatt Earp and the proprietors of the Alhambra saloon.
1896- Oklahoma Territory, fourteen prisoners including Bill Doolin and "Dynamite" Dick Clifton escape from a federal jail in Guthrie. The man that engineered the break was a black criminal named George Lane, who was part Cherokee Indian.
1904 - Burrton, Kansas- Milburn Stone, AKA Doc Adams, was born. Actor: Gunsmoke, Drango, Smoke Signal, White Feather, Arrowhead, Siege at Red River, Branded, Calamity Jane and Sam Bass, Royal Mounted Rides Again, The Daltons Ride Again, Death Valley Outlaws, The Great Train Robbery, The Phantom Cowboy, An Angel from Texas, Colorado; Notable TV guest appearances (other than Gunsmoke)
"Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok" (1951); passed away June 12, 1980.
1863- Fort Laramie (present day Wyoming)- John Bozeman leaves the fort to blaze a trail to the Yellowstone Valley in what will be named the Bozeman Trail.
1869- Arizona Territory- nine Indians are killed and ten wounded by cavalry as reported by Lieutenant McCleave.
1876- Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory-Captain McCaskey of the 20th Infantry receives a communiqué from General Terry at 2:00 a.m. He summons officers and assigns committees to inform 27 widows. Elizabeth Custer is wakened at 7 a.m. with the news of the deaths of her husband, her brother-in-laws Tom Custer, Boston Custer, and James Calloway, and her nephew Henry Armstrong Reed. Elizabeth then accompanies an officer as he visits 25 other widows.
1886- Denver, Colorado- the Academy of Music burned down. In addition, the theater, Kinneavy's Saloon, the St. Cloud restaurant, two stores and the Western union office were destroyed. Next door, the hotel Doc Holliday was living in, the Metropolitan, was spared as were the Board of Trade saloon, a warehouse, the German National Bank and Charpiot's restaurant suffered a scorching loss of windows from the heat.
1944- Annie Ralston James, the widow of Frank James, dies at age 91.
1998- Roy Rogers died (November 5, 1911 - July 6, 1998)
1846- U.S. annexation of California was proclaimed at Monterey after the surrender of a Mexican garrison.
1862 -Missouri- the first railroad post office was tested on the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad.
1867- Arizona Territory- the 8th Cavalry reports one soldier wounded in action against Indians at Beale's Spring.
1875- Montana Territory- Indians killed three members of the 7th Infantry near Camp Lewis.
1876- Otterville, Missouri- Jesse and Frank James, Cole, Jim and Bob Younger, Clell Miller, Charlie Pitts, and Bill Chadwell were waiting for the Missouri Pacific as it slowed to cross an old railroad bridge east of Otterville. They took $15,000.
1879- Caldwell, Kansas- George Flatt was a lawman in Caldwell and also operated an elegant saloon with William Horseman. On this date Flatt was involved in a shootout after two men, George Wood and Jake Adams, who began firing pistols while drinking at the Occidental Saloon. Constable W.C. Kelly and Deputy John Wilson, accompanied by Flatt and W.H. Kiser, entered the saloon. During the ensuing shootout Flatt killed the two outlaws, while Kiser was grazed in the temple and Wilson was wounded in the wrist.
1903- Parachute, Colorado- a shootout of July 5th ends in the suicide of a man authorities claim is Harvey Logan, AKA Kid Curry.
1912- Stockholm, Sweden- Indian Jim Thorpe wins four of five pentathlon events at the Olympic games. He is striped of the medals a year later when it is learned that he played semi-pro baseball.
1861- New Mexico Territory- General Sibley is put in charge of the Confederate troops in the territory.
1864- Bozeman, Montana Territory- Jim Bridger leads his first wagon train bound for Virginia City.
1867- Oregon Territory- Captain Baker and the 1st Cavalry kill two Indians and capture 14 near the Malheur River.
1867- Arizona Territory- the 8th Cavalry fight Indians near Truxton's Spring. One officer and one enlisted are killed and three Indians dead.
1867- Fort Sumner, New Mexico Territory- two detachments of the 3rd Cavalry battle Indians near the fort. Five soldiers are killed and four wounded.
1869- Kansas- a military telegraph line links Sante Fe, New Mexico Territory and Fort Leavenworth.
1874- Alberta- Established in 1869 by two Montana men, Fort Whoop-Up was the most notorious of the American whisky posts located in southern Alberta. Located at the junction of the Oldman and St. Mary rivers near present-day Lethbridge, Alberta, the illicit whisky trade with the native peoples of southern Alberta flourished in the unpoliced area. On this date, the North-West Mounted Police began their march from Manitoba to Fort Whoop Up. The whisky posts were abandoned with the arrived of the police, and Fort Whoop-Up served as an outpost for the force.
1875- Helena, Montana Territory- the famous “Hanging Tree” is chopped down by a Methodist preacher.
1878- Birch Creek, Oregon Territory- General Howard leads seven companies against Bannock Indians.
1897- Skagway, Alaska Territory- conman Soapy Smith is shot and killed.
1908-Aberta- One evening in the spring of 1908, two railway engineers were shunting their engine along the tracks west of Medicine Hat, Alta. when they saw the lights of another train rushing towards them on the same track. Before they could jump, the approaching train veered away, and with its whistle blowing, sped past on their right - although at that point there was no track there. A month later the same thing occurred - the lights, the whistle, a glimpse of passengers and a friendly wave from the crew before the train seemed to switch to another track that didn't exist. On July 8, it appeared to happen again, but this time it was all too real. The Spokane Flyer and the local train met head-on. Eleven people were killed, including the engineers who had first seen the phantom train which seemed to foretell the tragedy that was to come.
1914- Lassen Peak, California- a volcano believed to be dormant begins to erupt.
1950 - Joel McCrea appeared in the lead role of Tales of the Texas Rangers. The soon-to-be-popular show debuted on NBC radio.
1958 - The first gold record album presented by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) was awarded. It went to the soundtrack LP, Oklahoma! The honor signified that the album had reached one million dollars in sales.
1860- Lawrence and Fort Scott, Kansas- temperature reaches 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
1866- Camp Cooke, Montana Territory- the territory's first permanent army post is established near the mouth of the Judith River.
1878- Washington, Missouri- the corncob pipe was patented by Henry Tibbe of. (the second most popular use for a corncob...)
1903- Colorado- Harvey Logan, who rode with the Wild Bunch, “may” have died on this date. A train near Parachute, Colorado was held up by three men. One was killed in a gun battle near Glenwood Springs and identified as Tap Duncans a cowhand working in the area. Based on photographs some top Pinkertons and Knoxville jail guards were convinced that it was really Harvey Logan.
1923- Calgary, Alberta - Guy Weadick holds first Chuck Wagon Race at the Stampede, persuading 6 local ranchers to risk their wagons and horses in what will be billed as 'the half mile of hell'. The wagons were supposed to line up adjacent to the barrels along the track. Then the outriders dismantled the tent-fly, gathered the branding irons and loaded the stove into their team's wagon. The wagons would make a figure eight around the barrels, round the track and head for the finish line. The outriders then dismounted, unhitched the horses, set up the tent canopy and the stove and lit a fire in the stove. The first outfit to get smoke emerging from the chimney won the race.
1861- Fort Breckenridge, New Mexico Territory (present day Arizona)- the fort is demolished and abandoned by Union troops.
1863- Idaho Territory is created.
1869- Thunder Bay, Ontario - A group of prospectors led by Montreal mining engineer Thomas McFarlane discovered a rich vein of galena near Prince Arthur's Landing on Lake Superior which later became the Silver Islet silver mine.
1881- Riverton, Iowa- Frank and Jesse James rob the Davis and Sexton bank of $5,000.
1886- Outlaw Sam Archer, the youngest of the Archer Brother gang, was held for trial and, following a speedy conviction for robbery and murder, was legally hanged on this date. Vigilantes hanged Tom, Mort, and John without trial.
1890- Wyoming became the 44th state. Wyoming was named after an Algonquin Indian word meaning 'large prairie place'. Appropriately, the Indian paintbrush that covers much of the large prairie is the state flower and the meadowlark, frequently seen circling the prairie land, is the state bird. Another Indian term, Cheyenne, is also the name of the state capital. Wyoming is called the Equality State because it is the first state to have granted women the right to vote (1869).
1901- Stillwater, Minnesota- Cole and Jim Younger were released from the penitentiary.
1913- Death Valley, California- the warmest temperature ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere is recorded at 134 degrees F.
1861- Montana Territory- the steamboat Chippewa exploded on Poplar Creek. It was loaded with whiskey and gunpowder.
1869- Colorado Territory- the Battle of Summit Springs takes place as Tall Bull's Cheyenne “Dog Soldiers” were attacked by the 5th Cavalry in an attempt to free two captives. One of the two girls was killed and the other rescued. Tall Bull and 51 of his warriors were killed and fifteen captured. This was the last major battle against Indians in Colorado. William F. Cody was a scout at Summit Springs.
1882- Texas- Jack Harris, born and raised in Texas, led an adventuresome life. At an early age he worked for the U.S. Army as a scout and Indian fighter. During the Civil War, Harris served in the Confederate cavalry. Following the war, he fought in Central American revolutions. Returning to the U.S., Harris was one of the last great Buffalo hunters, providing meat and skins for the railroads moving west in the late 1870s. He then moved to San Antonio where he served briefly as a policeman, later becoming a gambler and winning several small fortunes. He and another gambler, Ernest Hart, formed a partnership and opened the Green Front Saloon, which had a full theater, the Vaudeville House, on the second floor. Harris' wealth grew, and he was well liked in San Antonio. One of Harris' few enemies was Texas gunfighter Ben Thompson. Ben Thompson rode into San Antonio drunk stormed, into the Green Front Saloon, demanding that Harris get a gun and meet him in the street. Ben was still ticked over a poker dispute from 1880. Harris, who entered the saloon after Thompson had left, got a gun and waited inside the saloon for his nemesis. Thompson appeared a short time later and saw Harris waiting with a shotgun behind some Venetian blinds. Before Harris could fire, Thompson squeezed off a fatal round that smashed through the blinds and into Harris' right lung. The gambler fell to the floor and Thompson fired another round at him and left. Harris got to his feet, staggered upstairs to his apartment, and died there that night. Thompson, who was the city marshal of Austin, Texas, at the time, resigned and turned himself over to the San Antonio sheriff. He pleaded self-defense in a quick trial and was acquitted.
1884- Saskatchewan- Louis Riel arrived in Saskatchewan to organize the Metis.
1896- Fort Smith, Arkansas- the towns last multiple hanging is carried out as Rufus Buck, Lewis Davis, Lucky Davis, Sam Sampson, Maomi July for their part in a three-day rape and murder spree r\through the Creek Nation.
1899- On this date Tom Ketchum, AKA Black Jack, and a couple of men attempted to rob their 4th train in short period but were unable to shake the posse that was hot on their trail. After a gunfight which killed two sheriffs, Ketchum, the most wanted man in the southwest, was arrested. After many appeals he was hung April 26, 1901 and literally lost his head by a quirk of fate.
1911- Ontario- a fierce forest fire broke out near Timmins in Northern Ontario. High winds fanned several fires into a single front 40 kilometers wide. It raged for more than a week -- burning 22-hundred square kilometers and destroying the mining communities of South Porcupine, Cochrane and Goldlands. More than 200 people died and more than three-thousand were left homeless.
1920- Yul Brynner (Taidje Khan) was born. Starred in The Magnificent Seven, Westworld and other movies; passed away Oct 10, 1985.
1861-Rock Creek, Nebraska-Gunman David McCanles, enraged at Hickok's seeing his mistress, went to the Rock Creek station, standing outside the cabin and calling for Hickok to come outside. Hickok refused and McCanles went to a side door. It is unclear whether or not he pulled his six-gun. "Come out and fight fair!" McCanles shouted. Hickok did not step outside. Then McCanles shouted that he would go inside the cabin and drag Hickok outside. "There'll be one less s.o.b. if you try that," Hickok shouted back. McCanles then entered the side door of the cabin and Hickok shot him through the heart. McCanles' 12-year-old son, Monroe, ran into the cabin to hold his dying father.
1870- Texas- Battle of the Little Wichita River- Kicking Bird and 100 of his Kiowas battled Captain McLellan and 54 members of the 6th Cavalry. Capt. McLellan had been dispatched to recover the mail from Indians who had attacked a mail coach sixteen miles west of Fort Richardson on July 6.
1876- Deadwood, Dakota Territory- Wild Bill Hickok, age 39, rides into town.
1882- Arizona Territory- the Tombstone Epitaph reports that Johnny Ringo is drunk in Galeyville.
1832 - U.S. Indian agent and explorer Henry Schoolcraft stumbled upon the source of the Mississippi River. Its 2,552-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico begins at Lake Itasca, Minnesota.
1866- Present day Wyoming- construction begins on Fort Phil Kearny between the forks of the Little Piney and Big Piney Creeks. Red Cloud, Ogalala Crazy Horse, Black Shield, High Backbone of the Minneconjous, seal a pact and over the next six months kill 154 soldiers and settlers in 51 skirmishes and taking a number of stock.
1867- Oregon Territory- Lieutinant Goodale and the 23rd Infantry report five Indians killed and two captured on the Malheur. One soldier is killed.
1871- Clenega de Los pinos, Arizona Territory- the 21st Infantry reports killing fifteen Indians and one soldier killed.
1872- Whetstone Mountains, Arizona Territory- the 5th Cavalry reports killing four Indians in a battle.
1882- George W. Hackett who, was driving a Wells Fargo stage some nine miles outside of Strawberry, Calif. Black Bart suddenly darted from a boulder and stood in front of the stage, stopping it and leveling a shotgun at Hackett. He politely said: "Please throw down your strongbox." Hackett was not pleased to do so; he reached for a rifle and fired a shot at the bandit. Bart dashed into the woods and vanished, but he received a scalp wound that would leave a permanent scar on the top right side of his forehead.
1898- New Mexico Territory- Sheriff of Dona Ana County, Pat Garrett and four other deputies rode out to a ranch near Wildy Well in the Tularosa Valley of New Mexico to arrest Oliver Lee (1866-1941) and James Gilliland, who stood accused of murder. The Lee ranch, which was about thirty miles south of Alamogordo, was well-guarded and, as the lawmen approached, a ranch hand gave the alarm. The posse members, advancing on the house, were blasted by heavy gunfire from Lee and Gilliland after Garrett had ordered the pair to surrender. Garrett received a slight wound in the side and his deputy, Kent Kearney, was mortally wounded. So intense was the gunfire from the well -barricaded Lee and Gilliland that the lawmen were forced to retreat in disgrace. Both men later surrendered, but Lee and Gilliand were acquitted after a widely publicized trial. This disgrace, coupled with his failure to find the killer of the Fountains, caused Garrett to lose his job as sheriff of Dona Ana County. Lee returned to tending his Dog Canyon Ranch. After selling out in 1914 to several businessmen, he was elected twice to the New Mexico legislature.
1925 - Reporters covering the Broadway beat were most impressed by Will Rogers, an Oklahoma cowboy, who had been standing in for W.C. Fields on a temporary basis in the Ziegfeld Follies.
1937- Former lawman & later member of the Dalton Gang, Emmett Dalton died on this date. He was wounded at the failed double bank robbery in Coffeeville Kansas and entered prison afterwards. He was pardoned in 1907 and moved to California where he wrote for the movie industry in Hollywood.
1950- the Ute tribe is awarded $31.7 million for its land in Utah and Colorado that were taken from it between 1891 and 1938.
1860- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania- Owen Wister, the author of “The Virginian”, is born.
1861- Fort Bliss, Texas- Texan troops occupy the fort.
1862- New Mexico Territory (present day Arizona) Cochise and Mangas Coloradas lead an attack on a wagon train belonging to the California Column. Sixty braves are killed as the attackers are repulsed.
1864- Last Chance Gulch, Montana Territory- gold is discovered by John Cowen on the site of present day Helena.
1876- Pinery Canyon, Arizona Territory- two prospectors are killed by Apaches.
1878- Lincoln, New Mexico Territory- A.A. McSween and 60 supporters, including Billy the Kid rode into town and prepared for battle. The men occupy three houses but most of the force is in McSween's house.
I879- Texas. The Fifty Cent Act, advocated by Governor Oran M. Roberts and approved by the Texas legislature provided for selling Texas public lands at fifty cents an acre, one half the proceeds to be used to pay the public debt and the other half to establish a permanent school fund. The act opened to settlement about fifty-two West Texas counties, out of which the state sold 3,201,283 acres for $1,600,641.55. On January 22, 1883, the Fifty Cent Act was repealed as a public necessity resulting from fraudulent speculation in the land.
1881-Fort Sumner, New Mexico Terriory- outlaw William H. Bonney Jr., AKA Billy the Kid, was shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett. Billy the Kid was said to have killed 21 men.
1881- Tucson, Arizona Terriory- the first legal hanging in Pima County is held.
1896- Fort MacLeod, Alberta - Jerry Potts 1840-1896 dies of tuberculosis; Métis scout and interpreter who helped NWMP secure loyalty of native people in Alberta and Saskatchewan; born 1840 to Blood mother and white fur trader father; hired as guide and translator for first contingent of North West Mounted Police; arranged first meeting between Assistant Commissioner James McLeod and Blackfoot leaders in fall of 1874; helped bring about signing of Treaty Seven in 1877, assisted in convincing Blackfoot to remain neutral during North West Rebellion of 1885.
1901- Stillwater, Minnesota- Cole Younger was paroled after 25 years in prison. Afterwards Cole and Frank James organized the Cole Younger-Frank James Wild West Show. Cole died in 1916.
1862- Apache Pass, New Mexico Territory (present day southern Arizona) Cochise and Mangas Coloradas attack the California Column's wagon train. General Carleton, on the trail of Confederates, was leading a detachment to secure a spring. The attackers retreated after losing another sixty, to howitzer fire. Mangas was wounded and Cochise took him 100 miles through the Chiricahua Mountains to a doctor in Janus. Cochise told the doctor “if Mangas dies, everybody in Janos dies.” Mangas recovered.
1863- Huntsville, Missouri- Confederate raider Bill Anderson and his Bushwhackers hit the local bank, stealing $45,000.
1867- Kansas- George Custer leaves his command without permission in order to search for his wife among the forts in Kansas.
1870- Under the Manitoba Act, all British North America between Ontario and British Columbia became part of the Dominion of Canada. Despite Prime Minister John A. Macdonald's reluctance, Manitoba entered the Dominion as Canada's fifth province and not as a territory.
1876- Lincoln, New Mexico Territory- it is reported that J.J. Dolan's cowboys rode through town “shooting and yelling”.
1878- Lincoln, New Mexico Territory- the Lincoln County War's “Five Day Battle” begins as Murphy-Dolan faction lays siege to McSween's home and was ordered to open fire on the McSween mansion. The Murphy-Dolan forces were aided by a company of U.S. infantry. Siege ends on July 19th with the death of McSween as he tries to surrender and the escape of Billy the Kid and a few others.
1881- Fort Sumner, New Mexico- William Bonney's funeral is held in the old military cemetery. He was buried along side his “PALS”, as was written on the headstone, Tom O'Falliard and Charlie Bowdre.
1881- Winston, Missouri- the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad -Winston Train Robbery- the train was robbed east of Winston and west of Gallatin, Missouri in Daviess County. During the robbery William Westfall, the conductor was shot twice and was killed as well as Frank Mc Millan Jr. a stone mason who was caught in crossfire. Stories of revenge surfaced afterwards indicating that Mr. Westfall was the conductor for the Pinkertons the night they threw the bomb at the James Farm Home which killed young Archie Samuel and resulted in mother Zerelda James-Samuels arm being amputated. It is generally believed that there were five to seven robbers at the Winston Robbery. The men could have netted as much as $ 2,000.00. There were reports varied $ 8,000.00 to $15,000.00. In August 1883, Frank James was tried and acquitted.
1888- Chickasaw Nation (present day Oklahoma)- gunman Malachi Allen, shot and killed Shadrach Peters and Cy Love after quarreling over the ownership of a saddle. Allen engaged in a vicious gunfight with Deputy Marshal McAlester and the posse which had been organized to bring the desperado back to Fort Smith, Arkansas. In the heat of the battle, Allen sustained a serious wound in his shooting arm. He was taken back to Fort Smith where the arm was amputated shortly before the hangman affixed the noose to his neck on Apr. 19, 1889.
1894- Rawlins, Wyoming- Butch Cassidy and Al Hainer were sent to the penitentiary. Cassidy and Hainer, another cowboy, ran an extortion racket, selling Colorado ranchers protection, telling them that they would make sure that cattle was not rustled nor any of their property damaged by fire or other man -made hazards. Cassidy and Hainer were the man-made hazards, of course, and any rancher who did not pay his monthly protection fee had his cattle rustled by Cassidy and Hainer. Complaining cattlemen caused Wyoming lawmen John Chapman and Bob Calverly to hunt Cassidy and Hainer down to their cabin hideout near Auburn, Wyoming. The lawmen crept up on Hainer as he was tending to the horses, wrestled him to the ground and tied him to a tree. Calverly then entered the cabin, his six-gun drawn. As soon as Cassidy spotted him he leaped for his two six-guns and gun belt, which were on a chair. Calverly fired four shots, one of which creased Cassidy's scalp and knocked him unconscious. Both men were quickly tried for extortion, sentenced to two years, and sent to the penitentiary at Rawlins.
1939 - Patrick Wayne John Wayne's son was born on this day. Actor: Young Guns, McClintock, Big Jake etc.
1859- Arizona Apaches raid the Sonora Exploring and Mining Company and drive off a large portion of the livestock.
1866- Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming- 40 Cheyenne chiefs and warriors, including Two Moon, Black Horse, and Dull Knife arrive to parley with Colonel Carrington. Carrington demonstrates his howitzers prompting the Cheyenne to agree to a “lasting peace with the whites and all travelers on the road,” meaning the Bozeman Trail
1876- Cheyenne chief Yellow Hand and 40 braves left the Red Cloud Agency in northwestern Nebraska intending to visit the site of the Indian victory on the Little Big Horn. However, he was unaware that two troops of the 5th Cavalry were camped at War Bonnet Creek, in their path. In the ensuing fight Buffalo Bill Cody was thrown from his horse at the same time Yellow Hand, wounded by Cody, hit the ground. Buffalo Bill recovered first fired a second time with his Winchester and killed Yellow Hand. Cody took off Yellow Hands war bonnet and scalped him with a Bowie knife, saying “First scalp for Custer!”
1886- Edward Judson, AKA Ned Buntline, died. In his early years Ned lead a wild life as a writer, was shot at and even lynched (and cut down by friends saving his life). In 1869 Buntline, who was then earning $20,000 (the highest paid writer of his time) a year from writing went west looking for fresh material eventually bringing Buffalo Bill Cody and Wild Bill Hickok into the limelight.
1862- Montana Territory- Crow Indians attack Piegan Indians and white settlers on the Marias River, killing one settler.
1866- Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming- the Red Cloud War begins in the Powder River region as Red Cloud's Ogallala Sioux stampede 175 horses and mules of the 18th Infantry Regiment on the construction site of the fort.
1870- Hayes City, Kansas- Wild Bill Hickok was in a saloon when seven intoxicated cavalrymen from nearby Fort Hays jumped him and held him down. One of them held a six-gun to Wild Bill's ear and pulled the trigger but the gun misfired. Wild Bill managed to regain his feet and he pulled his pistols, shooting Private Jerry Lanihan through the wrist and knee and another trooper, John Kile, who was hit in the stomach. The rest of the troopers backed off as Hickok retreated from the saloon. Lanihan survived but Kile died the next day.
1874- near present day El Reno, Oklahoma, Fort Reno is established on the banks of the North Canadian River.
1886- Prince Albert Saskatchewan - a lone outlaw holds up Prince Albert mail coach; it was the first stagecoach robbery in Saskatchewan.
1897- the Klondike gold rush began with the arrival of the treasure ships Portland and the Excelsior at Seattle, Washington bearing miners from the Yukon, who carried suitcases and boxes full of gold. Thousands began to book passages north after the miners spread tales of fortunes waiting to be made. The gold had been discovered in August 1896 on a tributary of the Klondike River later named Bonanza Creek. News of a strike in Nome, Alaska, ended the stampede in 1898. It's estimated that by then prospectors had spent $50 million reaching the Klondike, about the same amount taken from the diggings in the five years after the first strike.
1843- Kentucky- Virgil Earp, the oldest of the Earp brothers, was born.
1859- California - Sheriff J. Boggs trapped outlaws Richard Barter, AKA Rattlesnake Dick, AKA Dick Woods, and George Skinner in a mountain pass near Auburn, California at night. Barter and Skinner were wanted for stealing $80,000 in California gold from muleskinners Boggs fired one bullet which entered the heart of Rattlesnake Dick, killing him instantly. Skinner was wounded, taken into custody, and later given a long prison sentence.
1867- Hannibal, Missouri- Margaret Tobin, AKA the Unsinkable Molly Brown of Titanic fame, is born.
1878- Lincoln, New Mexico Territory- Tom Cullens, aka Joe Bowers, is wounded while standing in McSweens kitchen. Ben Ellis is shot in the neck while tending his coral.
1884- Dodge City, Kansas- Tom Nixon, who recently took Mysterious Dave Mather's job as assistant marshal, shoots at Mathers, claiming he was drawn upon. Nixon was released on bond.
1901- Wyoming- Willie Nickels, the 13 year-year-old son of a sheepman was killed by 2 slugs from a Winchester. Tom Horn was eventually hanged for the crime.
1867- Dakota Territory (present day Wyoming)- construction began on Fort Fetterman near the North Platte River.
1878- New Mexico Territory- John Selman arrived in the Pecos Valley. His gang called the “Selman Scouts” are cattle rustlers. In 1895 Selman kills John Wesley Hardin.
1878- Lincoln, New Mexico Territory- the siege at Alexander McSween's home ends after 5 days. After Billy the Kid killed two men who came close to the house he shouted to his comrades: "Come on!" With that, Billy, two guns blazing in his hands, followed by his friends, as they made their mass escape, hundreds of bullets smashing into the building around them. The Kid miraculously fought his way through the lines of besiegers, wounding several, and made it to the nearby river, plunging in and getting to the other side where he was covered by high reeds. His friends, including Tom O'Folliard, followed and most were wounded. McSween refused to desert his home. He stepped into the yard to surrender and was shot to death, nine bullets entering his body. Murphy faction member Robert Beckworth was credited with killing McSween. Beckworth was killed later that day by Billy the Kid.
1879- Las Vegas, New Mexico Territory- Doc Holliday was part owner of a saloon, his partner and financial backer was one-time lawman from Dodge City, John Joshua Webb. Webb and Holliday were seated at a card table in the saloon when Mike Gordon, a former army scout, began an argument at the bar, He stormed from the saloon, standing in the street and shouting obscenities at Holliday. Gordon then drew his gun and began firing bullets into the front of the building. Doc stepped outside and a bullet from Gordon's pistol missed him. He drew his gun slowly, then fired a single shot that sent Gordon crashing into the dirt. Gordon died the following day, cursing Holliday with his last breath.
1881- Fort Buford, Dakota Territory- Sitting Bull and 187 Sioux surrender after four years of exile in Canada.
1881- Santa Fe, New Mexico Territory- Pat Garrett arrives in town and announces that he is going to resign as sheriff of Lincoln County.
1881- Arena Blanca, New Mexico Territory- three citizens are reported killed in an Indian raid.
1884 -Canada- a crowd of about 500 turned out in Prince Albert, N.W.T., to hear Louis Riel speak. The Metis leader had returned earlier that month from political exile in the United States.
1862- Fort Benton, Montana Territory- the steamboat Emily departs and arrives twelve days later in St. Louis. This is the fastest trip steamboat trip from Montana to St. Louis ever.
1862- Tubac, New Mexico Territory (present day Arizona)- the First and Second U.S. Cavalry establish temporary posts.
1865- Springfield, Missouri- James Butler Hickok, aka Wild Bill Hickok, quarreled with former Union soldier Dave Tutt over a poker game.
1871 - British Columbia joined Confederation as a Canadian province making it the sixth province to enter Confederation. Gold rushes of 1858 and 1860 had brought thousands of settlers to B.C., but the colony was always on the verge of bankruptcy. One condition for joining Canada was the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway within 10 years. Canadian government takes over telegraph lines in the province, including the Collins Overland Stage Line.
1877- New Mexico Territory- members of the Seven Rivers gang raid an Indian camp and steal thirteen horses.
1881- Sioux Indian leader Sitting Bull, a fugitive since the Battle of the Little Big Horn, surrendered to federal troops.
1885- Regina Saskatchewan N.W.T.- Metis leader Louis Riel, the founder of Manitoba, went on trial. Riel was charged with treason for his role in two Metis rebellions. Riel wished to plead not guilty but, over his objections, his lawyers entered an insanity plea and was convicted. He was hanged on Nov. 16, 1885.
1889- Sand Creek Gulch, Wyoming Ella Watson, AKA Cattle Kate was hung with her lover, James Avrill, from a cottonwood tree. Ella was born in Canada in 1861 and moved to Kansas in the mid-1860s. She married a man named Maxwell in 1879 but dumped him and started selling her services in Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming. By 1883 she took up with James Avrill near Rawlins, Wyoming. In 1888 James Avrill filed a claim near Sweetwater. It was rumored that Ella would accept cattle for her favors and that cowhands would pay from the company herds for such pleasures than to spend their own money, thus she became known as Cattle Kate. Apparently some of the ranchers didn't like losing cattle this way. So eager were the cattlemen to lynch the pair that they had forgotten to tie the hands of their victims and both Averill and Watson clawed at the nooses that slowly strangled them. According to a report appearing in the Casper Mail, "the kicking and writhing of those people was awful to witness." as their eyes bulged hideously and bloody foam dripped from their mouths. The cattlemen left them dangling from the cottonwood tree and slowly rode away. Some of the members of this posse later regretted the double lynching, saying that they only meant "to frighten" Averill and Watson but the charade went too far.
1851- Indiana- Sam Bass was born.
1861- Cook's Canyon, New Mexico Territory (present day Arizona)- 300 Indians under Cochise and Mangus Coloradas attacked a Tucson bound mail coach. The seven guards held out for three days before being killed. Cochise later admits he lost 175 warriors in the battle.
1865- Springfield, Missouri- gambler and gunman Dave Tutt loses the first recorded Western “showdown” with Wild Bill Hickok. The shooting was over a girl and a watch. Dave had taken Bills watch the day before as security for a debt owed in a poker game. Bill told Dave that if he (Dave) wore the watch in public he (Bill) would kill him. They walked towards each other and stopped about seventy-five yards apart, Dave fired first and missed, Bill took his time and the only thing on Dave still ticking was the watch as he had been drilled through the heart.
1867- Dakota Territory- the town of Cheyenne is established by General Grenville Dodge of the Union Pacific Railroad.
1873- Iowa- James-Younger Gang derail a Chicago & Rock Island express near Adair, Iowa. They took $3,000.
1878- Round Rock , Texas- Sam Bass, Frank Jackson, AKA Blockey , and Seaborn Burns, arrived at Round Rock with the intention of robbing the town bank the next day. Lawmen were waiting for them, having been tipped off by Jim Murphy, a remaining gang member. In a store next to the bank, the gang killed Deputy Ellis Grimes and wounded Morris Moore. As they left the store, outlaw Seaborn Barnes was shot to death . Bass and Jackson shot their way out of town. Sam Bass was hit in the back. Later that day a company of Texas Rangers found him under a tree dying. He died without revealing Jackson's destination, and the final member of the Bass gang was never found. If, in the end Bass revealed the location of the loot he acquired over a lifetime of crime, Jackson may have retired as a prosperous man.
1881- New Mexico Territory- Pat Garrett claims the $500 reward on Billy the Kid but payment is delayed.
1883- Arizona Territory- the Black Canyon stage robbers are caught; one is the blacksmith in Gillett.
1883- Colson, Montana Territory- “Liver Eating” Johnson is appointed deputy. Colson later is renamed Billings.
1884- Dodge City, Kansas- Mysterious Dave Mather shoots and kills Tom Nixon, who had fired at him a few days before.
1890- Calgary, Alberta- a civic holiday was declared so the town's 2,500 residents could attend the sod-turning ceremony for the Calgary and Edmonton railway line. The line was constructed in record time and on July 27, 1891, the last spike was driven at Strathcona, south of Edmonton. Residents of both communities rejoiced: a five-day stagecoach journey was replaced by one that took only a few hours.
1875- Edmonton Alberta- Prior to the development of the railroads, one depended on Canada's rivers to take them to the inland territories of the Canadian West via canoe. In 1873, the Hudson's Bay Company commissioned the Northcote, the pride of its fleet in her time. She measured 150 feet from bow to stern, was 28.5 feet in breadth and 4.5 feet deep. People throughout the west gathered on riverbanks to watch in wonder as she steamed by or docked at one of the settlements. On July 22, 1875, Edmontonians enthusiastically welcomed the advent of modern transportation as the Northcote became the first steamer to ascend the North Saskatchewan River as far as Fort Edmonton.
1880- California- Black Bart holds up a stage containing the Wells Fargo shipment from Point Arena to Duncan's Mill.
1883- Miles City, Montana- arson destroys much of the town.
1892- Washington DC - US and Britain sign Boundary Convention on Alaska and Passamaquoddy Bay, Maine.
1918- Wasatch National Forest, Utah- a single lightening bolt kills 504 sheep.
1947- Actor Danny Glover was born. Lonesome Dove, Buffalo Soldiers, Maverick, Silverado etc.
1861- El Paso, Texas- Confederate Captain John Baylor begins his invasion of New Mexico Territory. Major Lynde orders an evacuation of Fort Fillmore when he learns that is one of Baylor's objectives. Baylor captures Lynde's entire force.
1861- New Mexico Territory (present day Arizona) Fort Buchanan is torched and abandoned.
1863- Renick, Missouri- Bloody Bill Anderson and his Confederate Bushwhackers gut the railway station.
1874- Dakota Territory- George Custer's Black Hills “Scientific” Expedition is under way. Seeking a location for a new fort.
1878- Fort Stanton, New Mexico Territory- Charles Crawford dies at the forts hospital from wounds he received on July 17th in the McSween battle.
1886- Blue Duck was a half-breed lover of Belle Starr's who was under a sentence of death for having murdered a farmer in the Indian Nations in 1886. Scheduled to die on July 23, 1886, at Fort Smith, Blue Duck was saved through the actions of his common-law wife, Belle Starr, who hired a lawyer. The lawyer managed to get Blue Duck several reprieves and later a commutation to life imprisonment at the federal penitentiary in Menard, Ill. Blue Duck was later paroled, but by then Belle Starr, a horse thief, had been shot and killed.
1890- Berlin, Germany- Buffalo Bill's Wild West show opens for a month long engagement.
1950- The Gene Autry Show was first aired on TV. Gene Autry, the Singing Cowboy and his sidekick, Pat Buttram, maintained law and order in the U.S. Southwest for six years. Gene sang, Champion would do horse tricks, and Pat Buttram would invariably get into silly situations. The Gene Autry Show ended in August 1956. Autry went on to become a Country Music Association Hall of Famer, own Golden West Broadcasting and the California Angels baseball team. And he is the only person to have five Hollywood Walk of Fame stars (film, radio, TV, stage, records). He passed away October 2, 1998.
1858- Santa Fe, New Mexico Territory- the first weekly mail from back East arrives.
1865- present day Wyoming- near Fort Casper after a three day march, Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, Young Man Afraid, Roman Nose and their warrior's camp near the fort to plan their next battle.
1869- Fort McPhearson, Nebraska- William F. Cody is officially “discovered” by Ned Buntline, the highest paid writer in America.
1881- Tombstone, Arizona Territory- heavy rains cause flooding.
1884- Gilt Edge, Montana- an anti-rustler outfit known as Stuart's Stranglers is organized at Granville Stuart's DHS ranch.
1885- Regina Saskatchewan - William Henry Jackson found not guilty of treason by reason of insanity for involvement in North West Rebellion; he was sent to a lunatic asylum in Manitoba.
1886- Lawrence, Kansas- the city has not seen any rain since June 26. Crops are drying up in Kansas.
1886- Fort Smith, Arkansas- Calvin James was found guilty of murder and was hanged on this date. Calvin James commanded a gang of three liquor runners who operated with impunity in the Chickasaw Nation. James and his confederates, Henry Robey, Albert Kemp, and Tony Love, were passing through Texas on Aug. 1, 1885. The four rumrunners were drunk and ready for action after purchasing four gallons of whiskey apiece. Without warning James suddenly turned on Love and shot him in the head to gain control of the man's whiskey. Kemp and Robey were riding on ahead and did not witness the shooting. James attempted to cover the crime by hiding the body in the brush off the road. The dead man's horse was then turned loose. Calvin James threatened the other two members of the gang with death if they were to ever breathe a word of the crime to anyone. The authorities eventually arrested all three for murder, but in order to save their lives, Robey and Kemp testified against James in return for leniency.
1895- Fort Constantine Yukon - NWMP constable Charles Constantine builds Fort Constantine at junction of Forty-mile Creek and Yukon River.
1897- Missoula, Montana- a unit of black infantrymen set out on a grueling expedition to demonstrate a unique means of military transport--the bicycle. Black soldiers of the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps will arrive in St. Louis, Missouri, after completing a 40-day bike ride from.
1899-New Mexico- Thomas Ketchum (1866-1901), AKA Black Jack, became a notorious outlaw in the late 1890s, after putting together a tough band of outlaws gathered from the celebrated Hole-in-the-Wall area in Wyoming. His brother Sam was also called Black Jack at times. Although Ketchum was a feared gunman, he was an uninspired robber who was easily tracked by lawmen when they realized that Ketchum would rob the same train or stagecoach over and over again and in the same location. In 1899, Ketchum, his brother Sam, Lay, and Franks stopped three Santa Fe Railroad trains at the Twin Mountain curve near Folsom, N.M. The gang took only a few hundred dollars with each robbery, but Black Jack Ketchum was identified and several posses began searching for him in earnest. After robbing the Sante Fe for the third time, the Ketchum gang split up, with Tom Ketchum going his own way and Sam Ketchum, Franks, and Lay riding to a hideout in Turkey Canyon, New Mexico. A large posse tracked them to this area on July 12, 1899, and surrounded the campsite, waiting for the outlaws to go to sleep around their smoldering campfire. Just before dawn the next day, the lawmen ordered the outlaws to surrender. The bandits replied with intense gunfire and scurried behind some rocks. Sam Ketchum shot and killed Sheriff Edward Farr of Colorado and a deputy, W.H. Love. Another lawman named Tom Smith was also killed by one of the outlaws. Ketchum was wounded in the shoulder and Lay was struck by two bullets, but the three outlaws managed to get to their horses and escape. The wounded Ketchum, however, limped off to a ranch owned by Henry Lambert near Ute Park. Here he took refuge in a barn but the bullet in his arm caused gangrene to set in. Lambert and a ranch hand realized that only amputation would save Sam's life. They cut off his arm in a crudely performed operation. A few days later, lawmen tracked Ketchum to the Lambert ranch and arrested him, taking him to Santa Fe Prison. Here officers questioned Sam Ketchum incessantly, seeking to know the whereabouts of his brother, Tom. Sam refused to say anything. He finally blurted: "Black Jack, my brother, is dead and buried." Sam Ketchum's condition worsened and, because of the amputation, he went into shock and died on July 24, 1899
1950-Ignacio, Colorado- the Utes and Comanches settle a 200-year-old squabble over hunting rights.
1850- Oregon Territory- Gold is discovered in the Rogue River.
1865- near Fort Casper in present day Wyoming- the Fight at Platte Bridge begins. Troops fail to fall for Crazy Horse's decoy party of Sioux. Instead of being lead to an ambush the troops return to the fort, just ahead of 3,000 warriors. The battle ends the next day with a disappointed Crazy Horse and his 3,000 warriors only manage to take eight scalps.
1868- Wyoming Territory is created from portions of Dakota and Utah Territories as Congress passed the Organic act.
1878- California- Black Bart robs the Quincy-Oroville stage a mile from Berry Creek.
1880- Arizona Territory- Lieutenant Hurst enlists Wyatt, Morgan, and Virgil Earp to accompany him and his soldiers to the McLaury Ranch to inform the McLaurys of the theft of six government mules.
1882- San Antonio, Texas- Roy Bean mails a local newspaper a postcard announcing the first saloon west of the Pecos River.
1894 - Walter (Andrew) Brennan was born. Academy Award-winning actor: The Real McCoy's, The Guns of Will Sonnett; The Over-the-Hill Gang,; The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again; The Young Country; Support Your Local Sheriff!; How the West Was Won; Shoot Out at Big Sag; Rio Bravo; Drums Across the River; The Toughest Man in Arizona; Return of the Texan; The Showdown; Singing Guns; Curtain Call at Cactus Creek ;Red River ;Driftwood; My Darling Clementine; Dakota; Hangmen Also Die; The Westerner; The Texans; The Cowboy and the Lady; Banjo on My Knee; Helldorado; Law Beyond the Range (1935) ;Northern Frontier (1935) ;The Prescott Kid (1934);Rustler's Roundup (1933) ;Two-Fisted Law (1932) ;Law and Order (1932);Texas Cyclone (1932);Long, Long Trail, The (1929) ;Lariat Kid, The (1929); Smilin' Guns (1929);Ballyhoo Buster, The (1928) ;Ridin' Rowdy, The (1927) and others.
Walter Brennan died Sep 21, 1974.
1895- Wyoming- Bannock Indians surround 250 settlers near Jackson Hole until they are dispersed by the 9th Cavalry.
1901- Montana- Harvey Logan, AKA Kid Curry, avenges the 1896 death of his brother Johnny Curry. Logan waited in Jim Wither's coral all night, and then shot Wither when he stepped out to brush his teeth.
1861-Fort Fillmore, New Mexico Territory- Captain Baylor gains control of the territory after driving Union troops from the fort.
1862- Fort Bowie, New Mexico Territory (present day Arizona)- the fort is established where General Carleton secured a spring to guard the eastern approach to Apache Pass.
1863- Huntsville, Texas- Sam Houston died. General, and 1st President of Texas and later governor after it was admitted to the Union.
1864- New Mexico Territory- Texas guerrillas arrive in southern Colorado Territory.
1870- Hickman, Kentucky- Charles Goodnight married Molly Dyer, his longtime sweetheart, who had taught school at Weatherford. After the wedding at the home of relatives, the newlyweds returned to the Rock Canon, Texas, which was their home for the next six years.
1875- California- Charles E. Boles, AKA Black Bart, robbed his first stage, on a mountain pass called Funk Hill, four miles outside of Copperopolis, Calif. Bart, in addition to being an expert lone bandit who robbed more than two dozen stages in California in 1877-78, exercised a sardonic brand of humor in the form of doggerel scratched on foolscap and left in the empty strongboxes he looted. He was frivolous and capricious, a jokester whose laughing nature endeared him even to his victims.
1877- Dodge City, Kansas George Hoyt rode up to Wyatt Earp, who was standing outside the Comique Theater in Dodge City, and fired at Wyatt. Hoyt was trying to earn $1000 to be paid by cattleman Tobe Driskall to anyone who killed Wyatt. Three shots missed Earp and went into the theater, causing comedian Eddie Foy to throw himself on the stage in the middle of an act. Hoyt was shot and later buried in Boot Hill on 21 August.
1878-California- Black Bart held up another Wells Fargo stage, one traveling between Quincy and Oroville, Calif. Again, he wore the same weird outfit, the long flowing duster and the flour sack, and again, his voice, described as "hollow and deep," ordered the driver to "throw down the box!" This time Bart made off with $379. He also helped himself to a passenger's $200 diamond ring and a gold watch worth $25. Once more, pursuing lawmen found the empty strongbox with another note which stated: "Here I lay me down to sleep, To wait the coming morrow, Perhaps success, perhaps defeat, And everlasting sorrow. Yet come what will, I'll try it once, My conditions can't be worse, And if there's money in that box, 'Tis money in my purse."
1881- The Canadian Pacific Railway was completed as far as Winnipeg.
1901- Harvey Logan, Wild Bunch member, settles score with James Winters at Landusky by emptying a full cylinder of lead into the man.
1864- Arizona Territory- John Allen files the first application for land in the territory under the Homestead Act.
1867- Montana and Oregon Territories- Lieutenant Colonel George Crook and three detachments of the 1st Cavalry engage Indians between Forts C.F. Smith in Montana and Harney in Oregon. Forty-six Indians are reported “killed and wounded.”
1880- Arizona Territory- Wyatt Earp was appointed Pima County Deputy Sheriff.
1891- Strathcona, Alberta - Last spike driven on the Calgary and Edmonton Railway; begun July 21, 1890; five-day stagecoach journey reduced to a train trip of only a few hours; C&E taken over by CPR in 1903.
1898- Skagway, Alaska - Michael J. Heney operates first locomotive on his White Pass & Yukon Railway.
1862- Grasshopper Creek, Montana- gold is discovered by a group of Colorado prospectors and as a result the town of Bannock springs up. Due to confusion over the town's boundaries it will be in Oregon Territory, Idaho Territory, and Montanan Territory.
1864- Dakota Territory- in the Battle of Killdeer Mountain, on the Little Missouri River, General Sully troops attack Sitting Bull's camp.
1867- Lieutenant Colonel George Custer is arrested. His pending court-martial will be for desertion, for over marching his troops, and for cruel treatment of deserters.
1867- Fort Wallace, Kansas- seven men die from cholera in one evening.
1874- Caldwell, Kansas- a group of horse thieves is caught by a posse of 150 men under Sheriff John Davis.
1878- California- Black Bard robs the Quincy-Oroville stage again. Part of the poem he left read “Let come what will I'll try it on,/My condition can't be worse;/And if there's money in that box/”Tis munny in my purse.”
1878- New Mexico Territory- the Grant County Herald erroneously reports that Billy the Kid was killed in the McSween battle.
1880- Texas- Apache chief Victorio begins a two-week-long series of raids in the Eagle Springs region.
1920- Bandit Pancho Villa surrenders to the Mexican government.
1852- Commodore Perry Owen, named in honor of the American Naval hero, was born. As an adult Commodore Owen had blond locks reaching nearly to his waist and wore a wide-brimmed fawn sombrero, fringed and hand tooled chaps and a gunbelt featuring a long-barreled Colt .45. In his teens he worked as a cowhand. As a young adult he was a buffalo hunter on the Staked Plains supplying meat for the railroad construction crews. After a ranching stint he was elected sheriff in 1886 in Apache County in Arizona Territory. In 1887 he led a posse that killed Ike Clanton at his base on the Blue River. As a lawman Owen led an exciting life, being involved in some of the wildest and bloody shootouts in the west. He died on May 10, 1919.
1867- Arizona Territory- the 8th Cavalry fights Indians near Willows.
1869- Montana Territory- established in 1866, on the Bozeman Trail, Fort C.F. Smith is abandoned.
1884- Texas- P.C. Baird served with the Texas Rangers and rose to the rank of sergeant in Company D, Frontier Battalion. Baird and two other Rangers encountered several fence-cutters near the Greer ranch near Green Lake on this date. When the Rangers ordered these men, about five in number, to surrender, the outlaws fired on them. In the return fire, Baird shot and killed John Bailey, also known as John Mason. A Ranger was wounded in the gunfight but all the outlaws were captured. Baird was elected sheriff of Mason County in 1888 and in the following year, a gunfight broke out in Mason inside Garner's Saloon. Baird and a deputy raced down the street to investigate, and at that moment, two brothers, Jesse and John Simmons, stepped from the saloon with shotguns blazing at the lawmen. Baird and his deputy stood calmly in the middle of the street and took aim at the brothers who were advancing on them, both in an obvious state of drunkenness. Baird fired a single shot which hit John Simmons, killing him, and his deputy dispatched Jesse Simmons. Baird served as sheriff of Mason County through 1898 and then retired. He died on Mar. 9, 1928, in San Antonio, Texas.
1900- Carcross, Yukon - the last spike driven on the White Pass & Yukon Railway from Skagway to Whitehorse, after the gold rush was over. The RR was started in 1898, at the height of the Klondike gold rush. The steep and difficult route of the White Pass and Yukon Railway line was hacked out of the rock by men, many of them disillusioned gold seekers, using only picks, shovels and blasting powder. Much of the work was done in the winter, in bitter cold and fierce snowstorms, and under constant threat of avalanches, 35 men were killed during construction. The summit of White Pass reached in February, 1899; ceased operations October, 1982.
1835- Texas- a company of volunteers under William B Travis forced the capitulation of Antonio Tenorio at the fort at Anahuac.
1864- Bannock, Montana Territory- silver is discovered.
1869 Montana Territory- abandoned Fort C.F. Smith, on the Bozeman Trail, is burned by Red Cloud and his celebrating warriors.
1874- Caldwell, Kansas- of the horse thieves that were arrested on the 28th, three were hanged by vigilantes.
1878- California- Black Bart robs the LaPorte-Oroville stage five miles outside of LaPorte.
1881- Missouri- Governor Crittenden offers a $10,000 reward for the capture of Frank and Jesse James.
1874-Kansas- start of Grasshopper plague (Rocky Mountain Locust). The grasshopper invasion devastated crops in Kansas and many people lost nearly everything. Aid was sent from the East to help the people get through the hard winter. Lasted until September.
1880- Eagle Springs, Texas- two settlers are reported as having been slain by Indians.
1880- Tombstone, Arizona Territory- the Tombstone Epitaph congratulates Wyatt Earp on his appointment by Sheriff Shibell to civil deputy sheriff for the Tombstone area. Virgil was a special officer under Marshall White. The paper also added, “Morgan Earp succeeds his brother as shotgun messenger for Wells, Fargo & Co.”
1882- Indian Territory Belle and Sam Starr are charged with Horse stealing.
1885- Canada- Despite his objections, Louis Riel's lawyers hoped that he would be found not guilty of treason by reason of insanity. Those hopes were doomed on July 31, 1885, by Riel's eloquent and ultimately tragic address to the jury. In it he said he had been blessed by God with a mission to help the Indians, the Metis, and the whites of the North West, but he repudiated any suggestions of religious insanity, and wanted to be judged solely on the political elements of his case. He was found guilty.
1894- Chandler, Oklahoma- the Bill Cook gang robbed the Lincoln County Bank. Elmer Lucas, AKA Chicken, was onetime an Oklahoma cowhand who rode with the gang in the early 1890s later spent 15 years in the Michigan State Penitentiary.
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