Today in Old West History
1852- Princeton, Missouri- Martha Jane Canary, AKA Calamity Jane, was born. She served as a muleskinner for the Army and in 1893 joined Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. She “married” Wild Bill Hickok in 1870, at least that's what was written on the flyleaf of a bible. She was buried next to Wild Bill Hickok in Deadwood South Dakota.
1861- Fort Washita, Present day Oklahoma- Union soldiers surrender the post to Confederates without a shot being fired.
1877- Lincoln, New Mexico Territory- James Dolan immigrated to the U.S. from Ireland and fought for the Union during the Civil War, later serving in the West and being mustered out at Fort Stanton. He went to work as a clerk for L.G. Murphy in Lincoln, New Mexico Territory. He became a junior partner to Murphy, who was a cattle baron at war with John Tunstall, Alexander McSween, and others, including Billy the Kid. Dolan was proficient with a six-gun, an expertise that he proved on this date when he shot and killed 20-year-old Heraldo Jaramillo, an employee who pulled a gun on him. Dolan insisted at his trial that Jaramillo tried to murder him on behalf of the Tunstall faction, and he was acquitted.
1878- Texas- Jim Murphy and his father are arrested for harboring the Sam Bass Gang. Jim cuts a deal with Texas Ranger Major John B. Jones, in which Murphy pretends to join the gang and tell the law where they are hiding out. Sam Bass was suspicious but was talked out of killing Jim Murphy by Frank Jackson.
1880- Tombstone, Arizona Territory- the first issue of the Tombstone Epitaph went out. The paper was owned and run by John Clum who said “every tombstone should have its epitaph”.
1883 - Buffalo Bill (William F. Cody) staged his first Wild West Show.
1883- Mexico- Captain Emmett Crawford leads a force of 100 troops and 93 Indian scouts into Mexico, searching for Chato's Apaches.
1916- Quebec, Canada- actor Glenn Ford is born.
1862- Deer Lodge Valley, Montana Territory- future in-laws of Teddy Blue Abbott, Granville Stuart and a Shoshone woman are married.
1873- Yuma, Arizona Territory- the first legal hanging takes place, across from the schoolhouse.
1875- Fort Smith, Arkansas- the new judge for Indian Territory, Isaac Parker and his wife, arrive in town take over his new duty.
1885- Cut Knife Hill Saskatchewan - Colonel William Dillon Otter (1843-1929) forced to retreat with eight dead and 15 wounded, as Cree chief Poundmaker (1826-1886) holds off his attack at Cut Knife Hill.
1890- Oklahoma Territory was created.
1895- Oklahoma Territory - Bill Dunn and his four brothers Bee, Dal, Calvin, and George often operated as bounty hunters. But the Dunn brothers were better known as the proprietors of a road ranch outside Ingalls, Okla., where passing travelers were waylaid after being put up for the night. On this date two desperados known as Charley Pierce and Bitter Creek Newcomb arrived at the Dunn ranch to spend the night. As they stabled their horses, Bill and one of his brothers ambushed them outside the barn to collect the $5,000 bounty on Newcomb in Guthrie. Later that year, the people of the county grew angry over Dunn's tactics. On Nov. 6, Dunn answered his critics by blaming Deputy Sheriff Frank Canton for the brutal way in which Newcomb and Pierce had been killed. In the streets of Pawnee, Canton confronted Dunn. Dunn drew first, but Deputy Canton fired a .45-caliber slug into Dunn's forehead, killing him instantly.
1859- Texas- Andy Adams, cowboy and author of The Log of a Cowboy was born. From early youth he helped his two brothers with cattle and horses on their father's farm. Adams traveled to Texas in the early 1880s and remained there for ten years, eight of which he spent in trail driving. He had become a foreman before he left the trail in 1890. After that he remained in Texas two more years, during which he was a partner in an unsuccessful mercantile venture in Rockport. In 1892 he drifted to gold-mining camps in Colorado and Nevada and in 1894 moved to Colorado Springs, where he lived until his death September 26, 1935.
1873- Arizona Territory- Manuel Fernandez was executed for the knife murder of Mike McCartney, a Yuma Arizona store keeper, and so became the first man to be legally hanged in the territory of Arizona.
1882- Cochise County, Arizona Territory- President Arthur threatens to impose martial law due to lawlessness.
1888- Florence, Arizona Territory- Arizona lawman Peter Gabriel had chased bandits through Pima County, Arizona Territory, from 1883 when he was the sheriff of the county. He fired one of his deputies, Joe Phy, for disorderly and drunken conduct and later arrested him in Casa Grande for assault. The two men feuded throughout an election for sheriff in 1888 which Gabriel won. On May 3, 1888 Phy called Gabriel to the street from a saloon where both men had been drinking. The two men went for their six-shooters and, in a wild gun battle in which eleven shots were exchanged, Gabriel shot Phy several times. Gabriel was wounded in the groin and in the chest near the heart. The Sheriff walked away from the fallen Phy and staggered into the O.K. Stable where he collapsed. Phy died four hours later but Gabriel survived to stand trial and be exonerated for the shooting on grounds of self-defense.
1870- Kit Carson, Colorado Territory- the Kansas Pacific begins laying track westward.
1873- Labette County, Kansas- the remains of Dr. William York and other murder victims are found on the Bender family farm.
1875- Wichita, Kansas- Wyatt Earp makes his first arrest, bringing in W.W. Compton, a horse-thief.
1880- Las Lentes, New Mexico Territory- Six settlers are slain by Apaches.
1885- Miles City, Montana- fire destroys a major city block.
1932- Alberta Canada- a number of temporary "tent towns" sprang up along the shores of the Red Deer River in central Alberta as word of a gold dust discovery spread. Several groups of unemployed men were prospecting along the river banks, hoping to find enough dust to live on through the long winter months.
1862- Battle of Pueblo, Mexico. General Ignacio Zaragoza's troops were outnumbered three to one as they battled the invading French-backed Maximilian's forces. The Mexican forces defeated Napoleon III's army and Pueblo stood. The 5th of May is celebrated in the United States among the Mexican-American population, especially in California, Arizona Territory, New Mexico Territory and Texas to commemorate the overthrow of the Mexican Imperial Monarchy headed by Maximilian of Austria. The Imperial Monarchy was imposed from 1864 to 1867 on Mexico by Napoleon III, Emperor of France (nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte) and the Mexican conservatives "Club de Notables".
1863- Montana Territory- a party led by James Stuart stakes out the site for a town at the mouth of the Bighorn River.
1866- Fort Fletcher, Kansas- the fort is abandoned.
1871- Arizona Territory- Bear Springs Fight- Lt. Cushings and 10 of his soldiers were killed when a party of Chiricahua Apaches led by Cochise trapped a detail of the 3rf U.S. Cavalry in the Whetson Mountains of Arizona.
1877- Canada- Sitting Bull leads his people into “Grandmother's Land”, a reference to Queen Victoria.
1877- Fort Robinson, Nebraska- Crazy Horse leads almost 900 followers to Red Cloud Agency having been promised a reservation in the Powder River country.
1877- Dowlin's Mill, New Mexico Territory- a cattle dispute grows as Jerry Dillon kills an unarmed Paul Dowlin.
1895- In the early morning the Doolin band was encamped at their hideout on the Cimarron River when, a large posse led by the redoubtable lawman Chris Madsen came upon the Doolins as they were asleep. Tulsa Jack Blake was on guard at the time and, spotting Deputy William Banks sneaking up on the sleeping forms of his fellow bandits, pulled his six-gun and fired at the lawman. The bandits leaped to their feet and a roaring gun battle ensued. Blake continued to exchange shots with deputy Banks and one of Banks' shots struck his cartridge belt, exploding a shell that tore into Blake's stomach, causing a mortal wound. Tulsa Jack died as Bill Doolin and the others leapt into their saddles and splashed across the Cimarron to make their thunderous escape.
1856- California- U.S. Army troops from Fort Tejon and Fort Miller prepare to ride out to protect Keyesville from Yokut Indian attack.
1859- Kansas/Colorado Territory- John Gregory finds lode gold at what will be called Gregory's Gulch, on the North Branch of Clear Creek near the new city of Denver. Horace Greeley calls the area “the richest square mile on earth.”
1868- Montana Territory- the U.S. government begins payments of annuities to Crow Indians.
1877- Fort Robinson, Nebraska- Chief Crazy Horse surrenders 900 warriors, women, and children.
1877- Wood Mountain Saskatchewan - Sioux Chief Sitting Bull leads 1,500 of his followers into Canada to ask protection from the Queen; after defeating General George Custer and the US 7th Cavalry at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.
1881- Tombstone, Arizona Territory- James Earp leaves with his wife for California.
1911- Johnson City, Tennessee- George Maledon, Judge Isaac Parker's chief executioner in Fort Smith, Arkansas dies.
1859- Denver, Colorado Territory- the first Leavenworth and Pikes Peak Express stage arrives, having followed the Republican River from Fort Leavenworth.
1870- Texas- 9th Cavalry Sergeant Emanuel Stance led an attack against the Kickapoo capturing horses and defending a small wagon train. He later received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic service, the first of the "buffalo soldiers" to be so honored. Congress awarded a total of 18 Medals of Honor to black soldiers who served during the Indian wars.
1881- New Mexico Territory- Governor Lew Wallace again offers a $500 reward for the capture of Billy the Kid.
1885- Wellesville, New York- George “Gabby” Hayes is born.
1888- Lawman turned outlaw, Burt Alvord helped Cochise County Sheriff John Slaughter capture three Mexican bandits on this date. Later when Alvord ran a band of train robbers he was run down by the Arizona Rangers and spent a couple of years in the pen at Yuma. As a teenager, he found a job as a stable hand at the O.K. Corral. Shortly after he began work there, Alvord witnessed one of the most spectacular gunfights of the Old West, the showdown shoot-out between the Earp-Holliday clan and the Clanton-McLowery outlaws. Though he was only fifteen at the time of this legendary gun battle on Oct. 26, 1881, Alvord watched carefully as the Earps bested the outlaws by their cool composure and deliberate aim, a hallmark that was to be Alvord's adopted character when acting as a lawman or an outlaw.
1901- Helena, Montana- Gary Cooper, of High Noon fame, is born.
1827-Fort Leavenworth, first known as Cantonment Leavenworth, was established by Col. Henry Leavenworth on the Missouri River's right bank of Salt Creek as an army post to protect the western frontier and travelers on the Santa Fe Trail. 1829 Sublette's pack-train, en route West by way of Independence, Missouri for the first time traveled out the Santa Fe Trail some distance before turning northwest toward the Kansas river. This became the established Oregon-California trail route.
1846- Palo Alto, Texas- the first major battle of the Mexican War was fought resulting in victory for General Zachary Taylor's forces.
1862- Gold Creek, Montana Territory- James and Granville Stuart erect the first sluices for catching gold.
1879- Montana Territory- construction begins on Fort Assiniboine, south of Havre.
1885- Batoche Saskatchewan - Frederick Dobson Middleton (1825-1898) attacks Gabriel Dumont at Batoche; battle rages for several days; until troops disobey Middleton, storm the trenches and slaughter the Metis defenders.
1868- Fort Leavenworth, Kansas- the horse Comanche arrives from St. Louis and receives a “US” brand. Shortly later the horse is bought from the government by Captain Myles Keogh for $90. Comanche is later the only survivor at Custer's Massacre.
1869- Promontory, Utah- a golden spike was driven where the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Rail Roads met, marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States. The spike, valued at $400, was driven, along with bronze spikes into a laurel wood tie by the president of the Central Pacific, Leland Stanford. Immediately after the celebration, the spikes and tie were removed and replaced with the standard pine tie and steel spikes.
1873- Chickasaw Nation- a pair of outlaws, Isham Seely and Gibson Ishtanubbee, knocked on the door of "Squirrel" Funny, a white farmer who lived with his black housekeeper and cook in a small cabin. The two men asked if they might be allowed to spend the night before continuing their travels the next morning. The farmer agreed to their request and showed them where they could bunk down for the evening. Just before dawn the following morning, Istanubbee grabbed an ax from the yard and drove it into Funny's skull as he slept; Seely beat the housekeeper to death with a pistol, and the two looted the house. The gunmen buried a dress belonging to the woman in a hollowed-out log. They sold a pair of boots that had belonged to the farmer before attempting to flee from the Chickasaw Nation. Seely and Ishtanubbee did not get far before they were arrested and taken to Fort Smith for trial. They were tried and convicted by Judge Isaac Parker who sentenced them to death on the gallows, Apr. 21, 1876. Before Seely was dropped to eternity he let loose with a fearful war whoop: "Chicak-a-mah!"
1878- Mesilla, New Mexico Territory- a murder warrant is issued for William Bonney, AKA Billy the Kid.
1881- Arizona Territory- two mailbags are taken in a holdup of the Canyon Diablo to Flagstaff Wells Fargo stage. There was $125,000 in gold, silver, and coins in the bags. A U.S. Cavalry detachment killed five suspected bandits near Veit Spring but the loot is not found. In 1913 Short Jimmy McGuire produces some of the stolen coins, but after downing four drinks at Black's Saloon in Flagstaff he dies of a heart attack. The treasure was never found.
1885- Ashland, Kansas- a gunfight erupts in the Junction Saloon during a card game, pitting “Mysterious Dave” Mather, and his brother and bartender Josiah, against David Barnes. David Barnes is killed and two bystanders are wounded. The Mather brothers are arrested and leave town after posting a $3,000 bond.
1870- Canada paid the Hudson's Bay Company 11-million dollars for its territorial holdings in Rupert's Land and the Northwest Territories. The land included all territories drained by rivers flowing into Hudson Bay (most of today's Prairie provinces, northern Ontario, northwestern Quebec and portions of the Northwest Territories.) The HBC keeps blocks of land around its trading posts and 1/20 of the fertile belt (2.8 million hectares).
1872- Passengers on the Kansas Pacific protest against the senseless killing of buffalo from railroad cars.
1885- Batoche, Saskatchewan - Metis under Louis Riel defeated by the militia at Batoche during the North West Rebellion. Riel later gives himself up and is charged with treason; executed at Regina Nov. 16th.
1888- Bennett, Colorado- Colorado's warmest temperature ever recorded is 118 degrees on this date.
1889- Arizona Territory- Major Joseph Washington Wham takes charge of $28,000 in gold and silver to pay troops at various points in the Arizona Territory. While escorting the Army paymaster, two members of the 24th Infantry Regiment took heroic action to fend off a violent robbery attempt by masked cowboys. Sergeant Benjamin Brown and Corporal Isaiah Mays (both black soldiers) received the Congressional Medal of Honor for their bravery. Eight soldiers are wounded and eight of the attackers are arrested.
1941- Jane Hickok McCormick, 68, claims that she is the daughter of Wild Bill Hickok and Calmity Jane.
1858- Texas- a force of 200 Texas Rangers and Tonkawa Indians attack Renegade Comanche chief Iron Shirt and his camp of 65 lodges. Iron Shirt was killed in this battle on the Canadian in the Texas Panhandle. Tonkawa Indian Jim Pockmark was credited with firing the shot that killed Iron Shirt. Iron Shirt got his name because he went into battle protected by a suit of Spanish torso armor.
1865- Palmito Ranch, Texas - the last land battle of the Civil war. It is a Confederate victory.
1869- Ellsworth, Kansas- Outlaw Fitzpatrick is lynched for killing a man he found sleeping in a saloon after hours.
1870- Manitoba [the name means 'The Great Spirit Speaks'] entered Confederation as a Canadian province.
1872- Wichita, Kansas- Jim Antrim is appointed an assistant marshal. Jim is the brother of William Antrim.
1875- Texas- the James-Younger Gang rob the San Antonio stage near Austin taking $3,000.
1885- Batoche Saskatchewan - Gabriel Dumont (1838-1906) and his Metis warriors run out of ammunition; fire stones and nails before giving up the fight; Dumont flees to the US.
1887- Arizona Territory- the Tombstone Epitaph reports a volcanic eruption and an earthquake in the Dragoon Mountains.
1865- White's Ranch, Texas- Sergeant Crocker of an all-black Union unit dies and is the last recorded death of the Civil War.
1870- Colorado Territory- around 9 a.m. an Indian attack on a Kansas Pacific Railroad crew near the town of Kit Carson kills eleven and wounds nineteen 500 head of livestock are driven away.
1877- Louisiana- gunman Wild Bill Longley is arrested and taken to Giddings, Texas where he is tried and sentenced to hang for the murder of Roland Lay.
1898- Utah- Wild Bunch member, Joe Walker, was killed with another man by a posse seeking cattle rustlers near Thompson, Utah. When the two bodies were brought in, the entire town of Thompson turned out to cheer, thinking that the other man was Butch Cassidy, but the corpse was that of Johnny Herring, a lesser-known outlaw who bore some resemblance to Butch.
1864- Virginia City, Montana Territory- Boothill is opened after five men are hanged.
1870- Kit Carson, Colorado Territory- an arriving stagecoach reports that thirty have been killed by Indians between there and Lake Station.
1874- California- Tiburcio Vasquez is wounded by George Beers and surrenders when his hideout near Los Angeles is discovered.
1878-New Mexico Territory- Regulators led by Billy the Kid steal 27 horses from a ranch on the Pecos River, near Lincoln.
1934- Winslow, Arizona- Tom Picket died. Tom hung around Dodge City in the late 1870's with the Dave Rudabaugh gang. He later was with Billy the Kid's gang and was with him when the Kid was arrested at Stinking Springs on Dec 27,1880 (Tom was later released). During the 4 year period of WWI he served as a deputy US marshal.
1863- Drum Creek, Kansas- Osage warriors kill Confederate officers.
1872- Wichita, Kansas- the Sante Fe Railroad reaches town.
1872- Nebraska- Buffalo Bill Cody tracks and kills four Indians who committed depredations near North Platte.
1876- Norwegian Jon Torsteinson was born in 1827 and died on this day after a four-day illness. Jon later changed his name to John Thompson. He later became known as Snowshoe Thompson, the intrepid skiing mail carrier of the High Sierras in the late 1856 when he made the run between Placerville, California and Carson City, Nevada on skis (snow shoes had been recommended to him) in three days carrying a sixty pound sack of mail. Snowshoe Thompson continued this for the next twenty years.
1880- Kelly's Ranch, New Mexico Territory- three settlers are killed by Apaches.
1882- Denver, Colorado- Doc Holliday was arrested at the request of an Arizona peace officer and charged with the murder of Florentine Cruz. The Governor of Colorado refused to release Holliday to Arizona.
1883- Sierra Madres, Mexico- with permission from the Mexican government U.S. troops attack Chato's camp.
1885- the Northwest Rebellion ended as Metis leader Louis Riel surrendered.
1887- Arkansas City, Kansas- a large funeral is held for Ponca Chief Wasiki.
1870- Colorado Territory- ten workers on the Kansas Pacific Railroad are reported killed by Indians.
1871 - British Columbia -- A British order-in-council admitted British Columbia as a province of Canada. The order was effective on July 20. Vancouver Island had been annexed to the colony of British Columbia in 1866 but it became clear that a wider union was necessary to save the united colony from economic disaster. The 12,000 settlers of the new province agreed to join on the condition the federal government built a transcontinental railway linking British Columbia to the east. The CPR was completed in 1885.
1900- Utah- lawman Jesse Tyler brought in stolen cattle and rustlers, and frequently pursued Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch. On this date, Tyler led a posse after cattle rustlers near Thompson, Utah. Thinking they were riding up to an Indian camp, Tyler and deputy Sam Jenkins dismounted, left their horses, and approached unarmed. The camp turned out to be that of the band of rustlers led by Harvey Logan. The lawmen turned to run and Logan opened fire, shooting both men in the back. The rest of the posse fled, abandoning the bodies of Tyler and Jenkins for two days.
1905- Grand Island, Nebraska- actor Henry Fonda is born.
1853-Fort Riley, Kansas Territory- the fort was established by Captain Charles S. Lovell, 6th U.S. Infantry, on a site recommended by Colonel Thomas T. Flauntleroy, 1st U. S. Dragoons.
1868- Montana Territory- Camp Cooke, on the Judith River, is attacked by 2,500 Sioux.
1870- Kit Carson, Colorado Territory- the Union Pacific water tower is torn down by Indians.
1871- Tucson, Arizona Territory- town lots go on sale.
1872- Colorado Territory- the Denver and Rio Grande's tracks are 20 miles from Pueblo as the workers run out of iron.
1876- George Armstrong Custer begins his expedition against the Indians…
1883- Omaha, Nebraska- Buffalo Bill's first touring outdoor show, “The Wild West, Hon. W.F. Carver's Rocky Mountain and Prairie Exhibition,” debuts.
1885- San Carlos Reservation, Arizona Territory- Geronimo and Nana lead 134 Apaches off the reservation and begin a series of raids. They kill 73 civilians and soldiers on their way to Mexico.
1891- Truckee, California- cash and other relics left behind by the Donner Party are found.
1868- Colorado Territory- Fort Morgan is abandoned and its troops are moved to Fort Laramie in the Dakota Territory.
1871- Salt Creek, Texas- the “Warren Massacre” takes place when a mixed band of 150 Kiowa and Comanche lead by Satanta attacked a ten-unit wagon train that was freighting grain from Weatherford to Fort Griffin. The wagon master, Nathan Long corralled the wagon that offered enough resistance to allow five of his men to escape, Long and six of his teamsters were killed and mutilated. Two Indians were known to have been killed in the fight.
1858- Pleasanton , Kansas- the Marais Des Cygnes River at in Linn County is the site of a confrontation between pro slavery ("Border Ruffians") and abolition (free-state) forces. The five victims of the massacre were immortalized as martyrs in the cause for freedom. This massacre was the last significant display of mob rule in Kansas.
1859- Fort Garry, Manitoba - the steamboat Pioneer arrives at Fort Garry from St. Paul, Minnesota; first steamboat on the Red River.
1869- Fort Bent founder, William Bent dies. He was also an Indian trader and agent for the Cheyennes and Arapahos.
1887- Idaho- Halley's electric lights begin operating.
1862-the Homestead Act which allows citizens or intended citizens over 21 to claim 160 surveyed government acres after living on them for five years is signed by President Lincoln. An impatient homesteader could pay $1.25/acre after 6 months.
1869- Fort McPherson, Nebraska- the 5th Cavalry, including William F. Cody, return after fighting Tall Bull.
1874-Levi Strauss begins marketing blue jeans with copper rivets.
1894- The Doolin gang robbed the bank in Southwest City, Missouri. With guns blazing, Clifton, Doolin, and Bill Dalton fought their way out of town. They shot and killed former Missouri state auditor J.C. Seaborn as he seized a gun and tried to stop the bandits. Doolin was seriously wounded in the head when the outlaws rode from the town.
1972- Washington- 21,000 acres of tribal lands are returned to the Yakima Indians.
1874- Arizona Territory- the 5th Cavalry begins an operation against Indians that will conclude on June 6th near Diamond Butte.
1886- Tucson, Arizona Territory- the city demands that Governor Zulich provide protection from Geronimo, whose band has reportedly claimed 100 lives.
1887- Montana- the steamboat Rose of Helena completes a run from Gates of the Mountains to Great Falls, traveling 112 miles at 12 miles per hour.
1906- The United States and Mexico agree to share water equally from the Rio Grande River.
1861-Texas- during the Cortina War Santos Benavides and a force of about 40 volunteers attack the Cortinistas near Laredo. Seven bandits are killed, 15 are wounded, and 11 are captured and executed on the spot. Governor Clark later rewards Benavides with an engraved pistol.
1867- Richmond, Missouri- the James-Younger gang ride into town shooting their weapons and whooping like drunken cowboys as they rob the Hughes and Wasson Bank. Pedestrians ran in all directions while six men --Jesse and Frank James, Cole, Jim, and Bob Younger, and James White-broke down the locked front door of the bank. The bandits stuffed $4,000 into a wheat sack and then raced to the street to their horses.
1868- Marshfield, Indiana- the Great Train Robbery- The Reno gang boarded a train when it stopped to take on water at a whistle stop. They rode away with $96,000 in their saddle bags.
1872- William Cody was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery for saving a troop of soldiers he was guiding. An act of Congress rescinds the honor “on ground that at the of the act of gallantry he was neither an officer nor an enlisted man, being at that time a civilian.”
1873- California- the Modocs surrendered, offering to lead the soldiers to the hideout of Captain Jack, which they did. Captain Jack was tried for the murders of General Canby and Thomas and, with five others, was found Guilty and sentenced to death. Two of these Indians were reprieved and sent to Alcatraz for life. Captain Jack, Schonchin John, Black Jim, and Bogus Charley were hanged on Oct. 3, 1873.
1882- Tombstone, Arizona Territory- another saloon fire sets ablaze a major portion of the business district.
1867- Richmond, Missouri- James Gang robs the Hughs and Mason Bank of $4,000 in gold. The towns mayor was killed in the process as well as the jailer and his son as rebel guerrillas were broke out of jail.
1868- Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory- Kit Carson died at age 59. He was under Doctor Tilton's care for a thoratic aneurysm and was under going chloroform treatment at the time.
1872- Ste. Genevieve, Missouri- James-Younger gang rob local bank, taking $4,000.
1873 Ottawa Ontario - Parliament passes a bill creating the North-West Mounted Police; a military police like Royal Irish Constabulary, to patrol border and keep peace between Indians and traders; merged with the Dominion Police in 1920 to form the RCMP.
1882- Texas- convicted murderer Jesse Evans of Lincoln County War fame escapes while on a prison work exchange program and is never heard from again.
1886 Vancouver BC - Canadian Pacific Railway Engine 374, hauling the first transcontinental passenger train, steams into the new West Coast terminal at Vancouver harbor; Vancouver had been destroyed by fire in June 1885, and the railway would help the city grow and recover.
1863- Bannack, Montana Territory- Henry Plummer, a former road agent, assumes the office of sheriff after convincing the marshal to leave town.
1869- Green River Station, Wyoming- Major John Wesley Powell and a party of nine embark on an exploratory voyage down the Green and Colorado Rivers. They travel 1,048 miles in 98 days.
1871- Nebraska- Lt. Hayes leads 30 soldiers of the 5th Cavalry against a band of Sioux camped on Birdwood Creek. Six Sioux are killed and 60 horses are recovered. Scout William F. Cody is cited for "conspicuous and gallant conduct."
1875- Swan River, Saskatchewan - Northwest Mounted Police- stages snake-killing meet at Swan River post; 1,100 snakes killed.
1881- Montana Territory- fifty Sioux surrender at the Poplar River.
1883- Mexico- after attack on May 15 by Captain Emmett Crawford Chato and Nana and 260 other Apaches voluntarily appear at General George Crook's camp wishing to talk peace. They promise to return to the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona Territory, as they are tired of war.
1934- Arcadia, Louisiana- on a dirt road Texas Rangers Captain Frank Hamer and Private Manny Gault and four other lawmen fired into the Ford sedan carrying Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker cutting them to pieces. (I know that's pushing it for old west history, but heck its old and involves Texas Rangers in a deadly shootout...)
1968- the last surving horse of the U.S. Army Cavalry, Chief, died.
1858- Victoria British Columbia - First shipload of gold miners from California arrives in British Columbia.
1865- Montana Territory- ten woodcutters from the steamboat Cutter on the Maruias River are killed by Indians.
1869- Jewell County, Kansas- six settlers are killed by Indians.
1883- Tishomingo, the Chickasaw Nation (present day Oklahoma)- outlaw Harris Austin, after accusing Thomas Elliott of stealing his whiskey, fired two bullets at close range into the man's body. Austin discharged a third shot into Elliott's temple, which left a powder burn on the victim's face. Austin escaped into the surrounding hills, and remained at large until Deputy Marshal Carr and a posse tracked him down in April 1889. He was taken to Fort Smith (Ark.) where he was hanged on Jan. 16, 1890.
1853- Bonham, Texas - gunman John Wesley Hardin was born.
1863- Alder Gulch, Idaho Territory- a party lead by Bill Fairweather discovers gold. The site is later renamed Virginia City.
1864- Montana Territory is created from a part of Idaho Territory.
1874-Comanche, Texas- the town held horse races in honor of John Wesley Hardin, who was celebrating his twenty-first birthday. The local sheriff, John Karnes, was one of the few Texas sheriffs who held no warrants for Hardin's arrest. Karnes liked Hardin and often played cards with the gunfighter in one of Comanche's six roaring saloons. On that day, however, Comanche County Deputy Sheriff Charles Webb rode into town, intent upon arresting or gunning down Hardin. He made no show of doing so. In fact, he pretended he did not even know Hardin. Hardin, on the other hand, had been warned that Webb intended to arrest him. Webb tried to shoot Hardin in a saloon with Hardin's back turned. At that moment one of Hardin's friends, Bud Dixon, shouted to Hardin: "Look out!" Hardin whirled about, cross-drawing his six-guns as he turned, and fired as he faced Webb, whose gun had just cleared the holster. Webb's bullet was fired after Hardin's guns roared. It struck Hardin in the side, but the gunfighter sent a bullet into the sheriff's head.
1888- Topeka, Kansas- recently discharged doorman of the U.S. House of Representatives and the man who shot John Wilkes Booth, Boston Corbett, escapes from the insane asylum where he has resided for the last 15 months.
1893- Kansas- Bill Doolin and his gang rob train, near Cimarron.
1900- Thompson, Utah- Harvey Logan, AKA Kid Curry, kills two members of a posse.
1907- Winterset, Iowa- Marion Michael Morrison, AKA John Wayne AKA The Duke (1907-1979), is born.
1919- Six Nations Reserve, Brantford Ontario- Jay Silverheels is born. He was a lacrosse player, boxer, and actor who played The Lone Ranger's sidekick Tonto. In 1963 he founded the Indian Actors Workshop.
1837- Troy Grove, Illinois- James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok was born.
1870- Wyoming Territory- the Indians who attacked a Kansas Pacific construction crew new Kit Carson, Colorado Territory on the 13th are reported to have crossed the Union Pacific tracks at Antelope, Wyoming, with General Forsythe's four cavalry companies in pursuit.
1873- St. Genevive, Missouri- the James Gang rob the Ste. Genevieve Savings Bank, taking $4,100.
1885- Frenchman's Butte, Saskatchewan- the last Indian battle in Canada was fought.
1887- Shawnee, Oklahoma Territory- Sak and Fox Indian Wa-Tho-Huck “Bright Path”, AKA Jim Thorpe, is born. He later becomes an Olympic and professional sports star.
1870- Indian Territory- two settlers are killed by Indians near Fort Supply.
1878- Lincoln County, New Mexico- John Copeland is dismissed as County sheriff by Governor Axtell and is replaced by an employee of J.J. Dolan, George Peppin.
1879- Fort Smith, Arkansas- William Elliott, AKA: Colorado Bill was a gunman wanted for murder in four states who apprehended for this crime and was sentenced to death on this date by Judge Isaac Parker. On Feb. 23, 1879, Colorado Bill killed his fifth victim: David J. "Cooke" Brown, who was passing through the Choctaw Nation. In commenting on the charges brought against Elliott, the local newspaper noted that: "He will hardly be wanted by any other state after they get through with him here." The prophecy was correct for the desperado was hanged on Aug. 29, 1879.
1886- Forts Larned and Dodge, Kansas- their military cemeteries are abandoned.
1887- Sante Fe, New Mexico Territory- 502 Jicailla Apaches pass through the plaza en route to a new reservation in Rio Arriba County.
1887- San Francisco, California- the city sets a record of 97 degrees.
1902- the first serious western, Owen Wister's The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains is published.
1861- Texas- feared Indian fighter Henry Robinson, AKA Great Red Beard, and his daughter's fiancé are attacked, scalped and killed by about 20 Indians while on their way to Chalk Bluff. The Indians even took Henry's red beard.
1861- Chaparito, New Mexico Territory- mounted riflemen clash with 70 Comanches.
1861- British Columbia's Governor Sir James Douglas set off on a long and arduous journey to see where and how to provide a wagon route to the recently discovered goldfields of the Caribou. Royal Engineers from Britain surveyed a route along the Fraser Canyon. In a unique attempt to transport food and construction supplies in the hot, dry interior, 21 camels were imported as pack animals. The stubborn animals were not a success. They were aggressive with their handlers, and terrified the mules carrying freight along the treacherous tracks. Many of the panicked mules dashed into the woods and were lost, or threw themselves into the canyon to their deaths. There are many stories of miners, notorious for hard living and hard drinking, who swore off the demon rum after unexpectedly coming face to face with a spitting camel in the middle of a dark night.
1869- North Platte, Nebraska- William F. Cody sees his first circus.
1876- Fort Fetterman- General George Crook sets out to join forces with Custer and Terry in search of Sitting Bull.
1880- Cook's Canyon, New Mexico Territory- five settlers are slain by Apaches.
1842-Fort Scott (in present day Kansas), named in honor of General Winfield Scott, was established at Marmaton crossing of the Fort Leavenworth-Fort Gibson military road.
1854- The Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed and signed by President Franklin Pierce, and Kansas Territory was organized and opened up for settlement. Its boundary included parts of Colorado, west to the Continental Divide. The purpose of the Kansas-Nebraska Act was to open the country to transcontinental railways.
1870- Washington, D.C. Red Cloud visits President Grant.
1875- Francisco “Pancho” Griego, a Colfax County, New Mexico businessman and cowboy, was known for his mercurial temperament. On this date he encountered soldiers from the Sixth U.S. Cavalry at a hotel saloon in Cimarron New Mexico. During an argument at a card table, Griego shot two soldiers to death, and killed another with a knife.
1886- Leavenworth, Kansas- ceremonies dedicating the National Military Cemetery draws 6,000.
1893- Cimarron, Kansas- Doolin and three of his gang robbed a train. As they were fleeing, a large posse led by Chris Madsen cut off the band and a wild gunfight ensued in which Doolin was shot in the right foot. The outlaws escaped under the cover of darkness.
1897 Saskatchewan - Almighty Voice (1874-1897) was surrounded and shot to death after a two year search. A Cree desperado, he was first arrested for killing a cow; he escaped and shot a Northwest Mounted Police sergeant.
1899- Arizona Territory- the last U.S. stagecoach robbery in committed by amateur robbers Pearl Hart, who worked in a restaurant in Mammoth, Arizona Territory, and mineworker Joe Boot as they flag down the Benson-Globe stage and escaped with $400 cash. Lawmen were waiting at her cabin 4 days later when she showed up. Joe Boot got 35 years at the territorial pen in Yuma. Pearl got 5 but was released in 2. She toured the theaters billed as “The Arizona Bandit”. She was arrested in 1905 on suspicion of participating in a train robbery but was released due to lack of evidence.
1867- Bluff Ranch, Kansas- two enlisted members of an escort from Fort Dodge are killed by Indians near the ranch.
1877- Nebraska- Colonel Nelson Miles reports that 2,300 Sioux have surrendered at the Red Cloud and Spotted Tail Agencies in the last two months.
1900- Kiowa, Kansas- Carry Nation went on her first saloon wrecking rampage.
1930- San Francisco, California- Clint Eastwood was born.
1993- Wyoming- archaeologists announce findings of a recent excavation of the site of the Wagon Box Fight (August 2, 1867) near Fort Kearny.
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