Today in Old West History
1845- President Tyler signed a congressional resolution to annex the Republic of Texas.
1857- Henry A. Crabbe and a group of followers invade Mexico in an attempt to take over the state of Sonora.
1867- Nebraska became the 37th state.
1877- Yankton, Dakota Territory- Jack McCall, who shot Wild Bill Hickok from behind 2 August 1876, was hanged. After Wild Bill's death Jack made up a story about how Wild Bill had killed his non-existent brother and was acquitted. Later in Laramie, Wyoming he began bragging about shooting Hickok and his phony defense. A deputy U.S. Marshal heard him and Jack was put on trial in a federal court in Dakota Territory and found guilty. He stood quaking on the scaffold, trembling and begging for someone to save him. The rope was placed around his neck and just before he fell through the trap to his death, McCall cried out: "Oh, God!" The body went into an unmarked grave.
1881- Santa Fe, New Mexico Territory- William Bonney, aka Billy the Kid, is placed in solitary confinement after authorities look under his mattress and finds he was trying to tunnel out of jail.
1836- Texas declared its independence from Mexico.
1861- US creates Dakota & Nevada territories out of the Nebraska & Utah territories.
1867- Savannah, Missouri - the James Younger Gang attempt to rob bank. The robbers aimed guns at bank president, Judge John McClain, who refused to turn over the vault keys. One bandit stepped forward and shot McClain in the chest. The bandits ran from the bank and rode quickly from the town. McClain survived.
1868- Forts Kearny, Reno, and C.F. Smith are abandoned by President Andrew Johnson as part of an agreement with Red Cloud for ceasing hostilities.
1870- Orders from military headquarters in St. Louis require all Kansas Pacific track-laying workers to arm themselves against Indian attacks.
1881- New Mexico Territory- William Bonney sends another letter to Governor Lew Wallace asking for a meeting.
1889- Arizona Territory- an Atlantic & Pacific train is robbed of its express box in Canyon Diablo.
1899- Washington- Mount Rainier National Park was established.
1890- Congress creates the territory of Oklahoma, comprising of the western half of the current state.
1987- Randolph Scott, silver screen actor (Ft Worth, Gung Ho, Jesse James), dies at 89.
1837- US president Andrew Jackson & Congress recognizes Republic of Texas
1849- Congress created the Minnesota Territory.
1855- Congress approves $30,000 to test camels for military use.
1857- Congress authorizes the postmaster general to seek bids for an overland stagecoach service to carry mail and passengers between the Missouri River and San Francisco.
1857- present day North Dakota- Fort Abercrombie is established on the west bank of the Red River south of where Fargo is now. It was named for the commander of the founding party, Lieutenant Colonel John J. Abercrombie.
1863- Congress authorizes a US mint at Carson City, Nevada.
1863- Idaho Territory is created by Congress. Over 20,000 miners had already arrived to the gold fields there. Its initial border was larger than the state of Texas.
1877- Arizona Territory- Camp Huachuca is established to protect the border.
1890- Rome, Italy- Buffalo Bill's Wild West show entertains Pope Leo.
1868- current day Oklahoma- trailblazer John Chisholm, half-Cherokee and half- Scots, died before the entire route from southern Texas to Abilene became known as the Chisholm Trail. He died penniless from food poisoning.
1881- New Mexico Territory- William Bonney sends another letter to Governor Lew Wallace asking for a meeting.
1886- Laramie, Wyoming- the University of Wyoming is chartered.
1836- Samuel Colt manufactured the first pistol: a .34-caliber 'Texas' model.
1836- Illinois- Charles Goodnight, Texas Ranger and cattleman was born on the family farm in Macoupin County.
1876- Cheyenne, Wyoming- Wild Bill Hickok weds Agnes Lake, an old girlfriend and show rider.
1878- New Mexico Territory- Frank Baker, part Cherokee and member of the gang that killed John Tunstall, was captured with Billy Morton by Dick Brewer and his posse of 11 Tunstall men (including Billy the Kid). Baker was later killed enroute, possibly by Billy the Kid.
1879- New Mexico Territory- Governor Lew Wallace sends soldiers to arrest Jesse Evans, Bill Campbell and Billy Matthews at Murphy's Fairview ranch. J.J. Dolan surrenders and is confined at Fort Stanton. Wallace announces a reward for William Bonney, hoping he will testify against Houston Chapman's assailants.
1891- Phoenix, Arizona Territory- officials offer a $200 reward for any dead Indian.
1922- North Carolina- Annie Oakley (1860 - 1926) broke all existing records for women's trap shooting. She smashed 98 out of 100 clay targets thrown at 16 yards while at a match at the Pinehurst Gun Club. She hit the first fifty, missed the 51st, then the 67th. This was a record-breaker, true; but Annie Oakley was well known throughout the United States and Europe for her expert shooting ability. In one day, 'Little Sure Shot' took a .22 rifle and hit 4,772 glass balls out of 5,000 tossed in the air. She could hit a playing card from 90 feet (the thin side facing her), puncturing it at least five times before it hit the ground. It was this display that named free tickets with holes punched in them, Annie Oakley's.
1927- Texas- though the Goodnights had no children of their own, they often boarded college students, whom they hired to do secretarial work and other chores. They employed a woman as a housekeeper in 1905 and subsequently reared her son, Cleo Hubbard, as their own. After his wife's death in April 1926, Goodnight fell seriously ill but was soon nursed back to health by Corinne Goodnight, a young nurse and telegraph operator from Butte, Montana, with whom he had been corresponding because of their mutual surnames. Charles Goodnight celebrated his ninety-first birthday by marrying twenty-six-year-old Corinne at the home of Mayor Henry W. Taylor, Goodnight's nephew, in Clarendon.
1980- Woodland Hills California - Harold J. Smith, aka Jay Silverheels, died. He was born May 26, 1919 on the Six Nations Reserve, Brantford Ontario. He was a lacrosse player, boxer, and actor who played The Lone Ranger's sidekick Tonto. In 1963 he founded the Indian Actors Workshop.
1836- after fighting for 13 days, Santa Anna and his 3,000 Mexicans soldiers beat 182 Texans at the Alamo.
1853- Englishman John Tunstall was born. John was the first victim of the Lincoln County War on February 1878- When the Billy the Kid heard that Richard M. "Dick" Brewer had been sworn in as a special constable to arrest Tunstall's killers, he joined the group of "regulators," being sworn in as a deputy. After several days of searching, on this date Brewer's posse found a group of riders about six miles from the Rio Pecos. The band rode off, breaking up in small groups, with Brewer's men in hot pursuit. The Kid raced after Morton and Baker, firing his six-gun and Winchester as he rode. He ran both men down after their horses collapsed and took them prisoner.
1866- St. Louis, Missouri- William F. Cody, AKA Buffalo Bill, married Louisa Frederici.
1868- Texas- 13 settlers are killed and 1 child captured by Indians at the headwaters of the Colorado River in Texas.
1869- Tucson, Arizona Territory- 20 soldiers from Camp Lowell go on a drinking binge, ride into town, and start shooting, wounding 1 civilian.
1878- New Mexico Territory- Former employees of the slain John Tunstall, now a posse called the "Regulators" led by Dick Brewer arrest William Morton and Frank Baker after a six-mile running fight. William Bonny, AKA Billy the Kid, suggests they kill the men on the spot but Dick Brewer says "no" and begins to take his prisoners to Lincoln.
1886- Colorado- Alfred Packer, whose murder conviction was reversed by the Supreme Court, was given a new trial on a lesser chagre of manslaughter. His new attorney filed to have the case moved from Lake City saying that it was “impossible to find a single person who does not think Packer guilty.
1887- The Southern-Pacific announces a new one-way fare of $12 from Missouri to California. Price wars will drive the fare down to $1.
1847- U.S. General Winfield Scott occupies Vera Cruz, Mexico.
1862- Aubrey, Kansas - William Quantrill along with 40 men raided the village.
1877- Texas- 2 civilians are reported killed by Indians near Fort Davis.
1885- Kansas- to stop an epidemic of hoof-and-mouth disease the state legislature makes it illegal to drive Texas cattle between March 1 and December 1.
1911- the United States sent 20,000 troops to the Mexican border as a precaution in the wake of the Mexican Revolution.
1878- New Mexico Territory- the Regulators with their prisoners Morton and Baker, bunk at John Chisum's South Spring River ranch. Here the Regulators learn that J.J. Dolan has organized an even larger posse looking for them.
1879- Lincoln, New Mexico Territory- Governor Lew Wallace attends a citizen's meeting at the Lincoln County Courthouse.
1880- Montana Territory- two soldiers of the 5th Infantry and three Indians are killed on Rosebud Creek.
1884- Tombstone, Arizona Territory- four men, members of the Heath gang, were lynched for their part in the infamous Bisbee massacre on Dec 8, 1883. One of those hung was Dan Kelly, AKA Yorky, had left his home in Cork County, Ireland in 1881 for a chance at a new life in the U.S. Kelly was living near Clifton, Arizona Territory, in December 1883 when a gang of outlaws raided the town of Bisbee and killed several people. Dan Kelly was one of the men suspected of holding up a store with two other hard cases, Red Sample and Tex Howard. He left town and headed north, where his movements were almost impossible to trace due to a blinding snowstorm that had hit the area. Kelly boarded a train at Bowie Station on Dec. 11, but was put off near Deming after claiming that he was an itinerant hobo. Kelly was eventually arrested and taken back to Tombstone, Arizona Territory, to stand trial for the Bisbee robbery. Kelly claimed he was innocent but was sentenced to hang on the gallows. He was not fearful of that moment and remained talkative and full of good spirit. Kelly signaled the executioner to proceed and shouted, "Let her loose." In an instant he was dead. Kelly's remains were transported to Boot hill cemetery.
1887- Arizona Territory- factions of sheep and cattle interests prepare to square off after cowboys stampede 20,000 sheep in the Tonto Basin.
1893- Former lawman & later member of the Dalton Gang, Emmett Dalton entered prison on this sate after he was wounded at the failed double bank robbery in Coffeeville Kansas. He was pardoned in 1907 and moved to California where he wrote for the movie industry in Hollywood.
1873 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police founded Ottawa Ontario - John A Macdonald's government proposes establishment of a Mounted Police force for the North West Territories; act passed May 23.
1878- New Mexico Territory- in Blackwater Canyon, near John Chisum's South Spring River ranch, Frank Baker, William Morton, and William McCloskey are gunned down in cold blood by a member of the Regulators, possibly by Billy the Kid while they may have attempted to escape. The location became known as Dead Man's Draw.
1880- Montana Territory- the Utah Northern becomes the first railroad to reach Montana, entering the territory at Monida Pass.
1881- New Mexico Territory- Governor Lew Wallace sends his letter of resignation to President Garfield.
1916- Mexican bandit Pancho Villa leads 1,500 horsemen on a raid of Columbus, New Mexico killing 17 U.S. soldiers and citizens.
1928- San Antonio, Texas -Texas Ranger P.C. Baird who served with the Texas Rangers died. Baird served as sheriff of Mason County through 1898 and then retired.
1848- the Senate ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, ending the war with Mexico and extending the boundaries of the U.S. west to the Pacific Ocean.
1857- Isaac Cody dies from a chill from a rainstorm. His 11-year-old son, William F. Cody, will soon go to work as a messenger boy for the wagon trains of Majors and Russell that ran between Fort Leavenworth and Fort Kearny.
1862- Sante Fe, New Mexico Territory- Confederate troops occupy the town without opposition.
1864- Virginia City, Montana Territory- vigilantes hang Joseph A. Slade.
1878- Lincoln, New Mexico Territory- J.J. Dolan breaks his leg. Dr. Ealy said, "One of the worst men in the country broke his leg while trying to shoot an unarmed man".
1881- Tucson, Arizona Territory- a telephone company is established in town.
1884- San Antonio, Texas- Ben Thompson and gunman John King Fisher went into the Vaudeville Variety Theater and ran into Joseph Foster and William Sims who were intent on getting Ben. When the smoke cleared Ben Thompson and John King Fisher were dead, Ben with nine pieces of lead in him even though he managed to fire five rounds himself. Joseph Foster died later from wounds he received.
1893- New Mexico- New Mexico State University cancels its first graduation ceremony, because the only graduate, Sam Steele, was robbed and killed the night before.
1867- a pony express-type route is established between Helen, Montana Territory and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
1878- Lincoln, New Mexico Territory- A.A. McSween accompanied by Dick Brewer and others depart for John Chisim's ranch on the Pecos River.
1881- Muscle Shoals, Alabama- US. Army Engineer Paymaster Alexander G. Smith pick up the government payroll as usual at the Florence, Alabama, bank and started back to their camp on Bluewater Creek some 15 miles up the canal from Florence. Following the canal tow-path, he was approached by three men from Florence. These men were later identifled as being Jesse James, who had been living in Nashvillle as John Davis Howard, Frank James, also living in Nashville under the name of Ben Woodson, and "Wild Bill" Ryan, who used the alias of Tom Hill. Drawing their guns, the party relieved Smith of his saddle bags, his personal watch, and $221 from his purse. The saddle bag contained $500 in gold, $4,500 in $50 bills, $20 bills, and smaller currency. They tied Smith and forced him to accompany them until midnight, at which time they returned his watch, overcoat, and $21 cash and then released him.
1887- Cheyenne, Wyoming- a local paper reports that Calamity Jane is in town.
1887- Major Benteen (of Little Bighorn fame) is discharged from military service after being court-martialed for conduct unbecoming an officer. The charge was he had entered a store at Fort Du Chesne, Utah, intoxicated. He then quarreled with some civilians and removed part of his clothing, and exposed himself.
1890- Salt River, Arizona Territory- Lt Watson reports two Indians slain and three captured in a fight with the 4th Cavalry.
1973- Wounded Knee, South Dakota- an FBI agent is shot.
1856- California- Tom Bell, a brilliant Alabama-born surgeon who had served in the U.S. Army during the Mexican -American War, turned bandit in 1855 and terrorized the California counties of Yuba, Nev., and Placer about two years after the death of the notorious outlaw, Joaquin Murieta. On this date Bell and his band stopped a mule train laden with $21,000 in gold, taking the gold bags, and tying the five drivers to trees, again leaving pocket change with the mining men. When this pack train was stopped, Wells Fargo guard S.T. Barstow had half-pulled his gun when Bell shouted to him: "Stop that! We don't want to kill you but we must have your money." Again, the robber had proved his inclination to avoid bloodshed. This was soon changed with a bloody stagecoach robbery some months later.
1885- Montana Territory- the legislature bans "pernicious hurdy-gurdy" houses.
1889- Choctaw Nation - Sixty-year-old Henry Wilson was passing through the Winding Stair Mountains in the Choctaw Nation when outlaw Jefferson Jones killed him and robbed him for $12. The body was discovered a week later. Jones was arrested and taken to Fort Smith where Judge Isaac Parker sentenced him to die on the gallows, Jan. 16, 1890.
1836- Texas- the Runaway Scrape Oak is a half-mile north of Alternate U.S. Highway 90, ten miles east of Gonzales. On this night, the first night of the retreat known as the Runaway Scrape, Gen. Sam Houston and a force of nearly 400 men camped around this tree before moving on toward San Jacinto the next morning.
1860- Texas- Camp Ives was evacuated. Camp Ives was a military outpost on Turtle Creek four miles north of Camp Verde in southeastern Kerr County. Second Lt. Wesley Owen, commanding Troop I, Second United States Cavalry, established the camp on October 2, 1859. Although built in answer to requests from area settlers for government protection against Indians, the camp saw little use. On March 13, 1860, it was evacuated temporarily when soldiers stationed there escorted Lt. Col. Robert E. Lee, then in temporary command of the Second Cavalry, to the Rio Grande. The camp was reoccupied on October 20, 1860, but remained in operation only until January 28, 1861. On that date its troops abandoned it and moved to Camp Verde in preparation for defense against Confederate occupation as Texas neared secession.
1878- New Mexico Territory-in the Lincoln County War, Tom Hill is killed and Jesse Evans is wounded during a raid on the camp of John Wagner. Evans goes to Camp Stanton, where he turns himself in and gets admitted to the hospital. A.A. McSween returns to Lincoln.
1879- New Mexico Territory- Governor Lew Wallace sends word to Billy the Kid asking him to meet the governor on the 17th. Bonney had already written to Wallace offering testimony against Houston Chapman's murderers in return for immunity. He signed his letter "I am called Kid Antrim but Antrim is my stepfather's name-W.H. Bonney".
1878- Abilene, Kansas- fire destroys part of the cow town.
1883- LaPrele Creek, Wyoming- Alferd Packer was arrested at a boardinghouse. Alferd was a suspected cannibal on the run for an incident that happened in 1874. He was returned to Denver where a thousand turned out to see the "ghoul of San Juans." Packer claimed that Shannon Bell had done all the killing and he had killed Bell in self-defense before dining on human flesh. He said "I felt perfectly happy. Slept and slept and slept."
1885- President Grover Cleveland warns would-be settlers to stay out of Indian Territory (part of present day Oklahoma).
1886- Dodge City, Kansas- saloons are closed by order of Bat Masterson.
1912- Texas- Outlaw H.O. Beck (AKA: Ole; Edward Welch) was an old -time western train and stagecoach robber who had been serving time with Ben Kilpatrick, the "Tall Texan" of Wild Bunch fame. Both men were released from federal prison in early 1912 and immediately planned a train robbery of the Southern Pacific's Sunset Express in a remote desert spot. They boarded the train at Dryden, Texas, a small water stop, on this date, and attempted to rob the Wells Fargo car of its cargo of $65,000, but the guard, David Trousdale, attacked both men, killing Beck and Kilpatrick and delivering their bodies to officials at the next stop as if he were casually dropping off some mailbags.
1868- Oregon- Troops under Lt. Col. George Crook engage Indians at Dunder and Blitzen Creek. 12 Indians are killed and 2 captured.
1877- Montana Territory- the site for Fort Keogh is established near Miles City.
1875- Lincoln, New Mexico Territory- A.A. McSween and his wife, Susan, arrive in town and later become major players in the Lincoln County War.
1878- Prescott, Arizona Territory- a soldier convicted of murder is hanged.
1881- Arizona Territory- Gunmen failed in their bloody attempt to rob the Tombstone-Benson stagecoach, part of the continuing flap between Sheriff Behan and the Earps.
1881- Abilene, Texas- the town is established by the Texas and Pacific Railroad and west Texas cattlemen.
1881- New Mexico Territory- a San Miguel County grand jury indicts William Bonney for cattle rustling.
1883- Cheyenne, Wyoming- Lillie Langtry, the object of Judge Roy Beans affections down in Texas, played at the Cheyenne Opera House.
1916- U.S. Brigadier General John J. Pershing launched a punitive expedition into Mexico to capture Villa dead or alive.
1861- Arizona Territory votes to leave the Union.
1861- Texas- Sam Houston resigns the governorship of Texas over the state's secession.
1874- Missouri-while riding through the woods near Osceola, John Younger died in a gunfight when he and his brother Jim fought lawmen/Pinkertons near Monegaw Springs.
1881- Tombstone, Arizona Territory- a posse is organized to find the suspected Tombstone stage robbers Bill Leonard, Harry Head, and Jim Crane. Members include Buckskin Frank Leslie, Doc Holiday, Bat Masterson, and Virgil, Morgan and Wyatt Earp.
1903- Langtry, Texas- Judge Roy Bean, the only "Law West of the Pecos" died on this date. Bean had gone into San Antonio on Mar. 15, 1903, where he witnessed a cockfight in the Mexican quarter. So aroused by the blood sport was he that he went on an extended bender and was taken back to his shack in Langtry in an almost comatose state. He lingered in his back room for some hours, unable to recognize his own son, Sam, who had ridden a horse to death to get to his father's deathbed.
1916- after the raid on Columbus New Mexico on March 9th General "Black Jack" Pershing led the search for Pancho Villa leading American troops some 400 miles into Mexico, as far south as the city of Parral where, after a skirmish, they turned back to bases in northern Mexico. For 11 months, the 10,000 soldiers of Pershing's Punitive Expedition endured parching heat and bone-chilling cold as they ranged the wild deserts and mountains of the vast state of Chihuahua, tracking the Villista raiders. The Punitive Expedition was the last true cavalry action mounted by the U.S. Army, and, ironically, was also the first U.S. military operation to employ mechanized vehicles. In what would prove to be a preparation for World War I, Pershing experimented in Mexico with the use of automobiles, trucks, and airplanes, though fuel for those new-fangled machines often had to be transported on pack mules.
1955- The Ballad of Davy Crockett, by Bill Hayes, reached the number one spot on the pop music charts and stayed for five weeks beginning this day. The smash hit song sold more than 7,000,000 records on more than 20 different labels. Everyone seemed to be singing the song that saluted the frontier hero who was "Born on a mountain top in Tennessee..." Coonskin caps were seen everywhere as the Crockett craze spread like a frontier fire.
1865- Montana Territory- the Montana Post reports: “Only 22 sacks of flour in Silver Bow City, roads near impassable; 2 to 12 feet of snow in Deer Lodge.
1876 - Dakota Territory- the Battle of Powder River takes place. Some of Gen. George Crook's troops led by Col. Joseph Reynolds attack the camp of Two Moon's Cheyenne and He Dog's Sioux, both of which were peaceful. For unknown reasons Reynolds soon withdrew with 800 of the Indians' horses, allowing most of the Indians themselves to escape. Warriors led by Crazy Horse soon recovered the horses. Four soldiers were killed. Gen. Crook, furious, orders the troops back to Ft. Fetterman. In private, Reynolds swears to Gen. Crook that he was not in command during the Battle of Powder River. He claims that an Indian covered in warpaint broke into his tent the night before, tied him up, and then assumed his shape! By the time that Reynolds got free, the imposter had already done his damage and fled. Crook orders Reynolds imprisoned in an insane asylum.
1876- Montana Territory- 6 settlers have been killed and 8 wounded in Indian attacks near Fort Pease since February 22.
1879- New Mexico Territory - Governor Lew Wallace meets with Billy the Kid promising that if he surrendered and testified against Matthews and the others in the Chapman killing he would receive a full pardon. Billy said he did not like the idea of surrendering; it would appear that he was a coward. Part of the bargain the Kid made with Governor Wallace was to stand trial for the murder of Brady and Hindman.
1882- Tombstone, Arizona Territory- Lawman Morgan Earp was shot in the back while playing pool in Bob Hatch's billiards saloon late at night. He died a few minutes after midnight the next day (a few minutes later). Florentine Cruz, Mexican-Indian half-breed, a hanger on of the Clanton's & Curly Bill (it was said Cruz took nearly as long to pull a gun as he did to pull his pants on), was used by the outlaws around Tombstone when no one else was available. On this date he was employed by the gunman who murdered Morgan Earp.
1883- Arizona Territory- a Wells Fargo box is taken in a stage robbery between Maricopa and Prescott.
1896-. Crawford Goldsby, an Oklahoma outlaw better known as Cherokee Bill, was hung by order of Judge Parker on this date. Judge Parker characterized Bill as a "bloodthirsty mad dog who killed for the love of killing" and as "the most vicious" of all the outlaws in the Oklahoma Territory. Crawford was born at Fort Concho, Texas, on February 8, 1876. He murdered at least seven people and may have killed as many as thirteen. Certainly by the time he reached eighteen he had joined the Bill Cook gang in bank and train robberies. Bill later formed his own gang and also rode with other outlaws like Henry Starr.
1852- California- Wells Fargo, a subsidiary of American Express, began operations in the gold fields.
1859- West Point- Cadet George A. Custer receives two demerits for throwing food in the mess hall.
1878-Texas- Sam Bass and his gang rob the Houston and Texas at Hutchins. Heck Thomas, noted lawman, was serving as an express agent at the time, managed to hide $20,000 before a bullet from one of the outlaws wounded him in the face forcing him to surrender.
1879- New Mexico Territory- William Campbell and Jesse Evans escape from Fort Sutton.
1880- Arizona Territory- the Southern Pacific Railroad of Arizona and New Mexico is completed to Tucson, where it connects with the San Francisco and Pacific systems.
1882- Morgan Earp died a few minutes after midnight, on the 18th, having been shot in the back while playing billiards a few minutes before midnight on the 17th.
1882- New Mexico Territory- Pat Garrett finally collects the $500 reward for killing Billy the Kid.
1883- Cheyenne, Wyoming- the Cheyenne Daily Leader reports the total of executions in Cheyenne is 37 by the "gunny-sack brigade" and 2 by legal authorities.
1886- Cheyenne, Wyoming- Edwin Booth, the brother of John Wilkes Booth, played the title role in Hamlet.
1911- Smiley (Lester Alvin) Burnette was born. Actor: Western Double Features, Gene Autry Matinee Double Features, Dick Tracy: The Original Serial, King of the Cowboys, Springtime in the Rockies, Silver Spurs; passed away Feb 16, 1967.
1848- Monmouth, Illinois -Wyatt Earp was born. He later became a buffalo hunter, noted lawman, and businessman. Passed away Jan 13, 1929.
1864 - Charles Marion Russell was born, artist: known for his paintings of the American cowboy; passed away in 1926.
1868- Dakota Territory- Crazy Horse attacks the Horsecreek Station.
1873- Arizona Territory- Fort Lowell is created by the Tucson Garrison.
1873- Lampasas, Texas- Texas Ranger Captain Thomas Williams, accompanied by three officers to arrest Clinton Barkley, a Texas gunman who was wanted for murder, entered Jerry Scott's Matador Saloon, knowing Barkley and the Horrells (Barkley's brother-in-laws) were inside. The minute Williams and his men stepped through the swinging doors, Barkley, Martin, Tom, and Sam Horrell, along with saloon owner Scott, opened fire with their six-guns. Williams and two of his men dropped to the floor dead while the third deputy returned fire as he backed out of the saloon, his shots wounding Martin and Tom Horrell.
1875- San Jose, California- outlaw Tiburcio Vasquez was hanged for the murders committed during the "Tres Pinos Massacre" on August 23, 1873. He is believed to have killed as many as 42 men.
1879 - Texas- Jim Currie opens fire on the actors Maurice Barrymore and Ben Porter near Marshall. His shots wound Barrymore and kill Porter.
1888- Arizona Territory- three guards from the Vulture Mine are robbed and murdered en route to Phoenix. Gold bars were reported missing.
1868- Russellville, Kentucky- Jesse and Frank James and Cole and Jim Younger, along with four other men, rob the Southern Bank of Kentucky. Frank used the alias Frank Colburn, pretending to be a cattle buyer from Louisville. The gang rode off with about $14,000.
1879- New Mexico Territory- Governor Lew Wallace receives message from William Bonney asking whether the escape of Campbell and Evans will change their agreement made on the 17th. Wallace answered that the escape made no difference in the arrangements.
1880- Tucson, Arizona Territory- the first Southern Pacific train arrives in town with much fanfare.
1882- Tucson, Arizona Territory - the train bearing the remains of Morgan Earp and carrying Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and Warren Earp paused at Tucson on its way to Colton, California. Shots were heard in the train yard and the next day the body of Frank Stilwell, member of the Clanton gang, was found with 4 rifle balls and two loads of buckshot in him.
1852- Griffin, Georgia- the infant John Henry Holliday, AKA Doc Holliday, was baptized. He was probably a couple of months old.
1879- New Mexico Territory- per the agreement with Governor Lew Wallace, William Bonney and Josiah "Doc" Skurlock surrender to Lincoln County sheriff George Kimball, near San Patrice.
1882- Tucson, Arizona Territory - the body of Frank Stilwell, a Texas cowboy and member of the Clanton gang was found dead in the Southern Pacific Railroad yard with 4 rifle balls and two loads of buckshot in him. This happened to be within 72 hours of Morgan Earp's assassination and the night after a train bearing the remains of Morgan Earp and carrying Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and Warren Earp paused at Tucson on its way to Colton, California.
1883- Arizona Territory- four settlers are reported killed in an Apache raid 12 miles southwest of Fort Huachuca, near Tombstone. General George Crook learned that the raid was lead by Chato, Chihvahua, and Bonito, and makes plans to follow them into Mexico.
1890- General Crook, 61, died of heart failure while lifting weights. William Tecumseh Sherman called him "the greatest Indian fighter and manager the army of the United States ever had." Red Cloud said, "He, at least, never lied to us." Crook had spent his last years campaigning for Indian rights.
1891 - A Hatfield marries a McCoy, ends long feud in West Virginia it started with an accusation of pig stealing & lasted 20 years.
1916- Cole Younger was the last of the James-Younger gang to die, suffering a heart attack.
1858- Monticello Township, Johnson County, Kansas- James Butler Hickok, age 20, is elected village constable.
1863- Utah Territory- An Overland stage is attacked by Indians near Eight Mile Station in Tooele County. Passenger Judge Mott takes the reigns and outruns the attackers after the driver is killed and another passenger is wounded.
1875- Arizona Territory- silver is discovered in the Pinal Mountains.
1877- Texas- 3 civilians are reported killed near Fort Clark.
1881- Rawlins, Montana Territory- outlaw George Manuse, reputed leader of a gang of rustlers in the Powder River region of Wyoming in the late 1870s was lynched for killing a deputy sheriff in Miles City Montana. He was scheduled to hang on 2 April of that year but some folks just couldn't wait. The hide of the suspected killer was made into a pair of moccasins and a tobacco pound.
1883- Arizona Territory- raiding Apaches kill three people at the Total Wreck Mine in the Whetstone Mountains.
1886- Abilene, Kansas- the town gets electric lights. A local paper reported "time will tell whether it will be to the interest of the city to use the same to any extent."
1886- Seattle, Washington also gets electricity.
1858- The U.S. Senate approves Kansas statehood by a vote of 35 to 25
1876- Cheyenne, Wyoming- a local paper reports that Sitting Bull will surrender for a lump sum payment of $60,000.
1877- Mormon Elder John Lee was executed at the site of Mountain Meadow Massacre, nearly twenty years after the massacre, for his part of a Mormon/Indian raid on a wagon party on their way to California.
1878- New Mexico Territory- Governor Lew Wallace receives a list of "thieves and murderers" from William Bonney.
1882- Arizona Territory- the posse led by Wyatt Earp caught up with Curly Bill Brocius and his gang at Iron Spring (now Mescal Springs) in the Whetstone Mountains. Curly Bill was nearly blown in two when Wyatt Earp hit him with two shotgun blasts at close range.
1883- Arizona Territory- two people are killed by raiding Indians at Point of the Mountain.
1889- President Harrison opens Oklahoma for colonization. In the 1880's he served in the United States Senate, where he championed Indians. homesteaders, and Civil War veterans. In the Presidential election, Harrison received 100,000 fewer popular votes than Cleveland, but carried the Electoral College 233 to 168.
1834- John Wesley Powell was born. Geologist, explorer: he achieved nationwide recognition when he conducted an expedition in Utah and Arizona in 1869, when he led a four-boat flotilla on a privately financed 14-week trip down the Green and Colorado rivers. This trip despite losing a boat and a lot of gear/provisions, and losing three men to desertion (these men were killed shortly afterwards by Indians who mistook them for miners who had earlier murdered one of their community) two days before they reached their destination, was a success. A second trip down the Colorado was conducted by him in 1871 and in 1873- John Powell explored the plateau country of southern Utah and Arizona north and west of the Colorado River; He passed away Sep 23, 1902.
1855- Manhattan Kansas founded as New Boston Kansas.
1872- Tucson, Arizona Territory- four outlaws are lynched.
1883- Texas- 24 Canadian River cowboys, in the Panhandle, go on strike for a 50-cents-a-day pay raise.
1856- A E Burnside patents Burnside carbine.
1877- Dakota Territory- stage driver Johnny Slaughter, son of Cheyenne's marshal, was killed two and a half miles outside of Deadwood attempting to evade five masked men who ordered him to stop the Cheyenne and Black Hills stage. The horses kept going until the driverless stage arrived in Deadwood, leaving Slaughter in the road where he was shot off the stage.
1879- New Mexico Territory Governor Lew Wallace orders the arrest of John Slaughter on suspicion of cattle rustling.
1879- Montana Territory- Lt. W.P. Clark captures Little Wolf and 113 Northern Cheyennes at Box Elder Creek.
1886- Mexico- Apache chiefs, including Geronimo meet with General Crook just south of the border at Canon de los Embudos, and agree to surrender.
1991- the 63rd Academy Awards show- Best Picture of the year (1990) was Dances with Wolves (Jim Wilson, Kevin Costner, producers). Costner also won for his Best Direction of Dances with Wolves.
2001- Western author Terry C. Johnston dies of cancer at age 54. He was the author of a series of books starring Titus Bass as a mountain man in the West.
1836- Texas- Goliad Massacre occurred after General Urrea's Mexican forces had taken about 300 Texan prisoners the week before after an engagement killing a total of 417 men. The Mexican government considered them revolutionaries and not soldiers.
1862- New Mexico Territory- the Battle of La Glorieta Pass (Apache Canyon, Pigeon's Ranch) ends. Called the "Gettysburg of the West".
1862- Colorado Territory- Union troops capture 50 Confederates in a fight near Denver.
1874- Cheyenne, Wyoming- rancher John Iliff brings in the body of C.M. Manchester, a cowboy who was killed by Indians.
1879- Fort Scott, Kansas- miners pull Bill Howard, convicted of rape, from his cell, hang him from a lamp post, and set him on fire.
1881-James gang member Bill Ryan stopped in the White's Creek Store and Saloon near Nashville to take shelter from a heavy storm. He became drunk; and disorderly and soon was arrested and taken to the Nashville jail. When Jesse and Frank learned of Ryan's arrest, and fearing what he might tell authorities, Jesse left Nashville with his family for KansasCity, and Frank took his family to Virginia. Twelve months later, Jesse James was killed in St. Joseph. The following October, Frank James surrendered to Missouri Governor Tom Crittenden.
1882- Frederic Remington's first nationally published illustration, Cowboys of Arizona, appeared in Harper's Weekly.
1884- Manzano New Mexico Territory - Charles Kusz was killed by two rifle bullets through the upstairs window of his home. Kusz published a paper called "The Gringo and the Greaser". His paper berated Roman Catholics, rustlers, the education system in the region, and anyone else that he had an opinion on. Must have ticked off the wrong teacher.
1885- Duck Lake Saskatchewan - Gabriel Dumont (1838-1906) ambushes force of 98 NORTHWEST MOUNTED POLICE officers and volunteers, led by Superintendent Crozier, at Duck Lake; forces police to retreat to Prince Albert with 12 dead; start of the Northwest Rebellion (Second Riel Rebellion).
1919- Strother Martin, Jr. was born. Actor: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cool Hand Luke, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, McLintock!, Rooster Cogburn, Slap Shot, The Wild Bunch; passed away Aug 1, 1980.
1836- Goliad, Texas- on Palm Sunday at least 342 Texans were executed by firing squad at Goliad. The Texans considered these men prisoners of war, whereas General Santa Anna thought them "perfidious foreigners." The Mexican dictator had decreed that all Texans in arms against the Mexican government were to be treated as traitors, not soldiers. The men were led out of town and shot at point- blank range. Those not killed by the first volley were hunted down and killed by gunfire, bayonet, or lance. The bodies were left unburied. The incident, which became known among Anglo-Texans as the Goliad Massacre, joined the Alamo as a rallying cry for Texas independence.
1881- Sante Fe, New Mexico Territory- William Bonney writes Governor Lew Wallace from his prison cell asking the governor to keep his promise of granting a pardon.
1883- Saskatchewan - The town "Pile-O'-Bones" was made capital of the Northwest Territories, which includes Alberta, Saskatchewan and the present-day Northwest Territories; soon renamed "Regina" to honor Queen Victoria.
1883- Tucson, Arizona Territory- James Addison Reavis went to the office of the surveyor general with the claim to his "Peralta Grant," aged Spanish documents that he alleged gave him ownership to some 12 million acres in Arizona Territory and New Mexico. While negotiating with him the government learned that Reavis went to Spain and Mexico to forge the documents which exposed the "Baron of Arizona" hoax.
1865- The Military District of the Plains is created.
1868- Kansas- Wild Bill Hickok and Buffalo Bill supervise prisoners being relocated from Fort Hayes to Topeka.
1883- New Mexico Territory- a raiding party of Chiricahua Apaches lead by Chato killed Judge and Mrs. H.C. McComas.
1884- Arizona Territory- five bandits convicted of the December 8, 1883, Bisbee Massacer were hanged. Another participant had been taken from his cell and lynched on February 22.
1885- Prince Albert Saskatchewan - Acheson Gosford Irvine(1837-1916) withdraws Northwest Mounted Police force from Fort Carlton to Prince Albert; had arrived with reinforcements to fight the North West Rebellion.
1885- Toronto Ontario - General Frederick Dobson Middleton (1825-1898) leaves for the west in command of 5,000 troops to fight the North West Rebellion; reaches the end of the CPR on April 2, and splits up; Middleton goes to Batoche, Otter sent to Battleford, Strange goes after Big Bear.
1847- Vera Cruz, Mexico- victorious forces led by General Winfield Scott occupied the city of Vera Cruz after Mexican defenders capitulated.
1867- the British Parliament passed the North America Act to create the Dominion of Canada.
1878- Lincoln, New Mexico Territory- lots of shooting is reported in the streets.
1879- New Mexico Territory- Governor Lew Wallace orders the release of John Slaughter until his cattle can be inspected for ownership by another source.
1886- Arizona Territory- Geronimo reconsiders his recent surrender to General George Crook and escapes with Naiche and 20 warriors a few miles from Fort Bowie.
1887- Texas- Emmanuel Clements, AKA Mannen, was one of four brothers brought up on a cattle ranch near Smiley, Texas. Mannen was the most notorious of the brothers, and was accused occasionally of cattle rustling. His cousin was the legendary gunman John Wesley Hardin, who came to live on the Clements ranch for a time and worked as a cowhand. The Clements clan became very wealthy as they continued to drive cattle to the Kansas railheads throughout the 1870s. But in 1877, Mannen found himself sharing a cell with Hardin, Johnny Ringo, and Bill Taylor. A decade later, Mannen ran for sheriff of Runnels County. While campaigning for elective office, Clements was shot and killed at the Senate Saloon in Ballinger, Texas, on Mar. 29, 1887, by Marshal Joe Townsend.
1889- Washington, D.C.- Marcus Reno, of Little Bighorn fame, died after surgery for cancer of the tongue. He was buried in an unmarked paupers grave in Washingtons Glenwood Cemetary.
1867- U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward reached agreement with Russia to purchase the territory of Alaska for $7.2 million (two cents an acre), a deal ridiculed as ``Seward's Folly."
1870- Texas is the last Confederate state readmitted to the Union.
I885- Battleford Saskatchewan- Cree chief Poundmaker [Pitikwahanapiwiyin] (1826-1886) attacks and surrounds Battleford Saskatchewan with 200 warriors; local settlers forced to seek shelter in Northwest Mounted Police barracks for a month. A formidable soldier, Poundmaker had participated in the signing of Treaty 6, and in 1881 had guided the Marquis of Lorne from Battleford to Calgary. But he was distressed at the treatment given the Cree people, and had agitated for fulfillment of the promises made under Treaty.
1889- Denver, Colorado- Butch Cassidy once more accompanied the McCarty's on another raid. This time the gang picked out the First National Bank, robbing it of $20,000. Tom McCarty approached the bank president that day and, expressing his sense of macabre humor, stated: "Excuse me, sir, but I just overheard a plot to rob this bank." The bank president trembled so that he appeared to be undergoing an apoplectic fit, then managed to say: "Lord! How did you learn of this plot?" "I planned it," McCarty said, pulling his six-gun. "Put up your hands." Four men, Cassidy, Tom and Bill McCarty, and Matt Warner rode out of Denver with $5,000 each from the robbery.
1890- Flagstaff, Arizona Territory- fire destroys a major portion of the business district.
1909- the Army abandoned Fort Washakie on this date. The fort was built in Wyoming in 1871, and was originally called Camp Brown but its name was changed in 1878 to Fort Washakie to honor Chief Washakie. He was an important Shoshone chief who made peace for his people with the white people. The Shoshone Indians were given large tracts of land in Wyoming, called the Wind River Reservation. The fort was established not for protection against Indians but for the protection of the Shoshone Indians from the Sioux, Cheyenne, Crow, and Arapahoe Indians. The fort was a military outpost for almost 40 years but the troops never saw any battles with Indians. The hardest part about being stationed at Fort Washakie was boredom. Although the military abandoned the fort in 1909, the fort and many of the original buildings are still in use today by the Shoshone tribal government.
1916- Mexico- Mexican bandit Pancho Villa kills 172 at the Guerrero garrison.
1861- El Paso, Texas- the federal garrison at Fort Bliss surrenders to state troops.
1878- New Mexico Territory- A.A. McSween and his wife and John Chisum depart the Chisum ranch and stay at a ranch house 20 miles away.
1878- Lincoln, New Mexico Territory- a group of regulators, including Billy the Kid ride into town and spends the night in John Tunstall's store.
1879- New Mexico Territory- Governor Lew Wallace asks the federal government to declare martial law in Lincoln County.
1916- Mexico- General John Pershing and his army rout Pancho Villa's army.
1923- Captain George W. Arrington, one of the greatest Texas Rangers on record, died on this date on his ranch. He was born in Greensboro, Alabama on 23 December 1844. He fought for the Confederacy in Mosby's Rangers a unit that never surrendered after Lee did, but did disband. Following the Civil War, Arrington joined other Confederate soldiers and went to Mexico, offering his services to the doomed Emperor Maximilian and then moved on to seek adventure in Central America before returning to the U.S. in 1867. He eventually moved to Texas and joined the Texas Rangers in the early 1870s, fast rising through the ranks until he was appointed a captain. Arrington's territory was the Panhandle of Texas, then one of the worst nightmares for any lawmen. The area was overrun with hostile Indians and hundreds of hard case outlaws. Like the Mounties, always getting their man, he would track fugitives to both ends of the continent. He trailed one wealthy cattle rustler all the way to New England, returning him to Texas secretly. Arrington left the Rangers in the early 1880s and became sheriff of Wheeler County, a post he kept for eight years before retiring to his Rocking Chair Ranch in 1890. The old lawman came out of retirement briefly to become sheriff for the same county in 1894 and during this time he was confronted by six tough drunken cowboys in a local saloon who dared him to throw them into jail. Arrington had a small jail and no deputy so he did the next best thing. The lawman handcuffed the six men to the bar rail and held them in custody for twenty-four uncomfortable hours, until all promised to leave town without creating further disturbances.
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