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By Peter Brand Ever the gambler, Doc Holliday left Leadville to try his luck in Butte



By Scott Dyke The alleged recollections of Wyatt’s little sister do not pass muster







By Bill Markley Minnesota quarries are Indians’ sacred source for ceremonial pipe bowls




By Nicholas R. Cataldo Roving Nicholas Earp put down roots in California’s San Bernardino County


By F. Keith Davis In search of peace, this foe of the McCoys pulled up stakes in West Virginia



By Gary Roberts In real life and on-screen they were among the Wild West’s best-known yet curious couples










By Johnny D. Boggs Texas State Historian Bill O’Neal has written more than 40 books


Dime novelist Ned Buntline was adept at promoting himself and others



By Bill O’Neal Romanticized as a Southern hero, Cullen Baker was nothing but a killer



By Jim Winnerman Residents of Old Mines, Missouri, sustained a French dialect for 250 years


By Ramon Vasconcellos A.P. Giannini’s Bank of Italy grew into the multinational Bank of America



By Bill Markley Travis Erickson works a one-man quarry at Pipestone National Monument


By David McCormick Navajo medicine man Bai-a-lil-le tamed lightning and defied whites


Showcasing the West in art, film, fashion and more


By Linda Wommack Historic Fort Walla Walla Park offers visitors a museum and pioneer village


By Jessica Wambach Brown A scion of the namesake brewing family financed Molson, Washington


By George Layman Soldiers and outdoorsmen made good use of .69-caliber smoothbore muskets


The Lone Star State historian recommends books and videos about frontier-era Texas. Plus eight reviews of recent books


California’s Owens Valley is a cure for headache and heartache

ON THE COVER Obscured by his reputation as a killer embittered by illness, Doc Holliday was a child of the Old South who became a mythical figure in the Old West. (Adapted from Don Crowley’s Doc Holliday: Well I’ll be Damned!; color added by Brian Walker)









As I write these words, spring is in the air. But as you read this, it’s already time to bid farewell to summer and embrace the fall. Such is the speed of life, especially after you reach a certain age. Whatever that age is, John Henry “Doc” Holliday likely didn’t reach it. After graduating from the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery in 1872, contracting tuberculosis and taking his practice west, he cut his teeth on gambling and frontier adventure. And Wild West aficionados are glad he did. Doc died at age 36, which might have been longer than he expected, though historians have disputed the notion of a fatalistic Holliday consciously placing himself in danger. Regardless, he packed a lot of living and more than a few knives and firearms into those three-plus decades. He is best known, of course, for his friendship with Wyatt Earp and participation in the October 1881

gunfight near the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona Territory—interconnected circumstances long played up in books and movies. “The story of the friendship of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday is the stuff of legend,” historian Gary Roberts wrote in his December 2012 Wild West feature “Brothers of the Gun: Wyatt and Doc.” “Neither man’s story can be told without the other.” True enough, but Holliday would have other clashes and other friends during his six post-Tombstone years. Doc’s saloon life in Leadville, Colo., and Butte, Mont., where a local newspaper reported he “made a great many warm friends among the sporting frater- nity,” are the subject of Peter Brand’s “Holliday in Montana” (see P. 28). In Doc’s last years Wyatt appar- ently didn’t go out of his way to visit his old

friend, though they did have one last meeting in a Denver hotel in June 1886, according to Earp’s wife, Josie. “When I heard you were in Denver,” Doc reportedly told Wyatt, “I wanted to see you once more.” Holliday admitted his days were



numbered, and Wyatt was moved to tears at their parting. Doc died on the morning of Nov. 8, 1887, at the Hotel Glenwood in Glenwood Springs, Colo. But this is spring for me (and it was for you), so let’s not dwell on sad partings and the autumns and winters of our lives or those of our Western heroes. The Earp-Holliday friendship was, Roberts noted, rooted in courage and loyalty and “largely imperious to the opinions of others.” In the 19th century, he adds, such “close male relationships were considered normal, manly and even ennobling.” And,

of course, female relationships were also part of the picture. Wyatt had Josie (“Sadie” to him), and before that his Urilla and his Mattie (to name only the ones considered “wives”). Doc once had his own Mattie—

a first cousin (though whether any romance was involved has long been debated) who went on to become

a nun and served as the inspiration for the character of Melanie Hamilton in Margaret Mitchell’s novel

Gone With the Wind. Holliday moved on to the not necessarily endearing Kate Elder. In this issue of Wild West Roberts provides fresh insight into the stormy off-and-on relationship between Doc and “Big Nose” Kate (see P. 58), who met in St. Louis in 1872 and lived as husband and wife in Tombstone in spring 1881. In the 1930s Kate (the onetime Mary Katherine Horony) spoke about the late Doc but also suggested she had had a thing for—if not a fling with—bad boy John Ringo, demonstrating she still had much to hide about her early days. She and Doc saw little of each other after 1881, but—at least according to her—at his request she came to see him in the summer of 1887 when he was dying in Glenwood Springs. Many unanswered questions remain as to how well (or not) they treated one another and whether they were soul mates, ill-matched lovers or something in between. I prefer to think of what they had together as a frontier love story—after all, it is spring…or used to be.





Faye Dunaway as Kate and Stacy Keach as Doc share a tender moment in the 1971 film Doc.

Wild West editor Gregory Lalire wrote the 2014 historical novel Captured: From the Frontier Diary of Infant Danny Duly. His article about base- ball in the frontier West won a 2015 Stirrup Award for best article in Roundup, the member- ship magazine of West- ern Writers of America.


Eagle heads often grace pipestone bowls made by Travis Erickson, an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate (a Sioux tribe).


The Gamblers’ War In Tombstone

“It raged during the fall and winter of 1880–81,” wrote longtime Wild West contributor Roger Jay (who died in 2014), “and if the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday had lost it, they’d have had no choice but to clear out of Tombstone, Arizona Territory.”

Extended Interview With Bill O’Neal

“I always travel to the sites I’ll write about, taking photos and measurements and soaking up the atmosphere,” says the Texas native and official Lone Star State historian.

More About Travis Erickson

“My teaching from my grandfather and uncles,” says the Dakota Sioux artist, “is that the pipe is a stick and a stone stuck together, and when you pray with it in a ceremony, it becomes a sacred pipe.”






OCTOBER 2016 / VOL. 29, NO. 3













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“Wolf West,” by Dan Flores, in the June 2016 issue is a romantic tale at best. The few facts thrown in to hide the real message of this article does not make it legitimate—tripe is tripe. The emotional slant of the article in favor of an unlimited number of wolves in the West is also an open slap to those forced to live with wolves and to those men and women whose lifestyle includes hunting. Interesting that Lewis and Clark were mentioned. Wonder what their opinion of wolves was when they nearly starved to death in the Bitterroot Mountains when wolves roamed at will? An area in the 20th century that boasted elk and deer numbers by the thousands is now, with the reintroduction of the wolf, decimated to population lows approaching those of 100 years ago. Rodney A. Fosback Colville, Wash.

Dan Flores delivered an interesting, factual account of the history of the wolf in the West. I enjoyed not only the science of the lineage and ecology but also the written accounts of the way the wolf acted with non-Indian new- comers—that is, rather indifferent. Flores gives us his usual well-researched information. After laying out the eons-long history of the wolf, he turns to the relatively recent period in which the wolf goes from large numbers (alongside the bison) to next to nothing, owing to human depredation. The comparison is a stark one. No less dramatic is the shift in governmental policies regarding the wolf, from eradication to reintroduction. As someone who lives in an area where wolves now reside, I have heard plenty about this hot topic. Flores keeps a level head in presenting the controver- sy, even if with a tinge of lament for the passing of the “wolf west” and a coloring of the earlier human actors as thoughtless (conditions were altogether different back then). He astutely observes that the present-day culture of the West “is and always has been a mix of many cultures,” implying there are many interests involved—where once economics was the driver of policy, now science and the Endangered Species Act play a larger role. Flores stops short of an opinion on how it should go for the wolf and for us, and I will too. But whatever the future landscape, it will not be the historical wolf west but a patchwork of different scenarios, depending on locale and what different groups can work out. It will be hardest on the individual, whether wolf or person. The genie is out of the bottle. Kim Phillips Hamilton, Mont.






In your June 2016 issue John Koster’s story on spiked helmets (“When Soldiers Wore Spikes”) was a good one. Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer was very proud of his dress helmet. To my knowledge there are no known photos of Colonel Custer wearing it, so here is my drawing of him in full dress. Don Moore Killeen, Texas


Editor’s note: Several readers have corrected our editing mistake in “8 Great Frontier Army Scouts,” by Paul Hutton, on P. 10 of the August 2016 issue. The No. 8 scout’s name should have read Archie McIntosh (not Wil- liam Wells); the description refers to McIntosh. The No. 9 scout would have been William Wells but had to be cut for space reasons. Here is Hutton’s description of Wells:

“A white captive of the Miami Indians, he went on to marry Chief Little Turtle’s daughter and helped defeat Arthur St. Clair’s army in 1791. He then switched sides and led a band of ‘former Indian captive’ scouts who aided Anthony Wayne’s campaign against the Western Indian Confederacy in 1794. He became an Indian agent and died heroically in the defense of Fort Dearborn in 1812.”



It’s never too early to learn about the Wild West and Wild West . We love your magazine. The child in the picture is my 3-year- old daughter. Connie Price Via email

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Texas-born Linda Darnell stars as Doc Holliday’s gal (named Chihuahua not Big Nose Kate) in John Ford’s 1948 classic My Darling Clementine.



1 Gene Autry was king of the singing cowboys, filming 93 big-screen horse operas from 1934

through 1953, starring in long-running radio and TV

shows and boasting a Country Music Hall of Fame recording career.

2 Tex Ritter followed in Autry’s bootsteps with his own radio, film and recording career, starring

in 71 horse operas and singing the haunting title song to the 1952 Western classic High Noon.

3 Dale Evans, “Queen of the West,” co-starred in 28 films with husband Roy Rogers, as well as

The Roy Rogers Show (1951–57).

4 Audie Murphy, the most decorated U.S. sol- dier of World War II, starred in 33 Westerns,

notably opposite James Stewart in Night Passage and Burt Lancaster in The Unforgiven.

5 Tommy Lee Jones was unforgettable as Woodrow Call in the acclaimed TV miniseries

Lonesome Dove. His big-screen Westerns include




The Missing, No Country for Old Men and The Homesman (which he also directed).

6 Dan Blocker, who topped out at 6-foot-4 and 320 pounds, starred as “Hoss” Cartwright in

13 seasons of the TV series Bonanza. Blocker also appeared in several big-screen Westerns.

7 Linda Darnell, beautiful film star of the 1940s and ’50s, graced a number of Westerns, including

The Mark of Zorro, Buffalo Bill and the John Ford classic My Darling Clementine.

8 Fess Parker hurtled to stardom in the title role of the 1954–55 TV miniseries Davy Crockett and

later starred for six seasons on TV as Daniel Boone. His more than a dozen Westerns include Old Yeller, based on the children’s novel by fellow Texan Fred Gipson.

9 Willie Nelson first appeared on-screen opposite Robert Redford in the contemporary Western

The Electric Horseman. In a 1986 made-for-TV remake

of Stagecoach he played Doc Holliday.

—Bill O’Neal


WWHA honored Erik Wright for his article in Wild West.

The Wright Stuff

The Wild West History Association [wildwesthistory. org] presented its latest awards in the Western history niche during its ninth annual convention, held July 6–9 in Oklahoma City. Among the winners were Wild West contributors Erik Wright, John Boessenecker and Pam Potter. Wright received the Six-Shooter Award for best magazine article for



With passage of the National Bison Legacy Act last spring the bison (aka buffalo) is officially America’s national mammal. The shaggy icon shares top honors with the bald eagle, recognized as a national symbol in 1782. At one time tens of millions of bison roamed the continent. In the latter half of the 19th century Western market hunters deci- mated the great herds, and the bison was near extinction by 1894, when Congress

finally passed legisla- tion to protect the species. The cause of its near extinction is more complex, as Dan Flores pointed out in his award-winning article “Where the Buffalo Roam,” in the April 1997 Wild West.

“James Leavy: ‘Here Is Our Game,’” which ran in the February 2015 Wild West. “Of the hundreds of gamblers and gunmen in the trans-Mississippi West,” Wright wrote in that feature, “few fostered a more fearsome and geographically transcending repu- tation than Leavy.” Wright dedicated the article to his late friend and fellow Leavy researcher Mark Dworkin, whom WWHA recognized last year for his posthumously published book American Mythmaker: Walter Noble Burns and the Legends of Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp and Joaquín Murrieta. Boessenecker, who has written about the likes of Tiburcio Vásquez, Bob Paul and Frank Hamer in books and Wild West articles, re- ceived WWHA’s lifetime achievement award. Potter, whose article about Tombstone stage line owner J.D. Kinnear appeared in the June 2016 Wild West, received the President’s Silver Star Award for her long and dedicated service to WWHA. Also honored were Gary and Margaret Kraisinger for best book (The Western Cattle Trail, 1874–1897) and Jack DeMattos for best article in the WWHA Journal (“Buckskin Frank Leslie Revealed,” June 2015).

Other factors in- cluded competi- tion with horses for graze and water, drought, the intro- duction of domestic cattle and the spread of such diseases as brucellosis, tubercu- losis and anthrax.

Today there are bison in every state— some 20,000 on public land and about 162,000 on private farms and ranches. Nearly 5,000 reside in Yellowstone National Park [nps. gov/yell] alone. The problem there is not how to save bison but how to reduce the herd to a manageable target population of around 3,000 animals. Relocation of bison from the park is problematic due to the risk posed to live- stock by brucellosis. Ironically, culling the herd remains the most viable option.




—Juan Almonte, former aide-de- camp to Antonio López de Santa Anna in 1836, said these words in 1857 as Mexico spun into turmoil two years after Santa Anna’s final ouster as president.




T.J. Stiles became a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner last spring for his biography Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America (reviewed in the June 2016 Wild West). In 2010 the author received his first Pulitzer for the biography The First Tycoon: The Epic

Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt. Alfred A. Knopf published both books, as well as Stiles’ 2002 work Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War. In his review of Custer’s Trials Paul Andrew Hutton notes that while Stiles says little about the Battle of the Little Bighorn, he writes “a story for all readers interested in a changing America and in the incredibly talented yet fatally limited young soldier who so perfectly defined his age.”


Should John Wayne’s 1960 epic The Alamo be listed on the National Film Registry in the Library of Congress? To be eligible a movie must be at least 10 years old and “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” The registry includes 675 such films and will add another 25 at year’s end. John Farkis, author of Not Thinkin’…Just Remem- berin’: The Making of John Wayne’s The Alamo, heads the list of those pulling for the Wayne classic.

“If enough of us file a nomination,” he says, “perhaps the powers that be will recognize its importance.” The author points to Wayne films already on the Na- tional Film Registry: The Big Trail (1930), Stagecoach (1939), Red River (1948), The Quiet Man (1952), The Searchers (1956), Rio Bravo (1959) and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962). To nomi- nate The Alamo visit film-preservation-board/film-registry/nominate.


The nickname of the National Football League’s Washington Redskins has sparked much controversy in recent years. So the results of a recent Washington Post poll may come as a surprise. According to the survey of 504 American Indians across every state and the District of Columbia, nine in 10 respondents are not offended by the Redskins moniker, seven in 10 did not consider the word disrespectful to Indians, and eight in 10 would not be offended if a non-Indian called them that name. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, who has adamantly refused to change the team’s name, naturally celebrated the results, while others dismiss the poll. Regardless, Wild West will continue to use the terms “American Indians” or “Indians” rather than “Native Americans” or “Redskins.”





—Mortally wounded 7th U.S. Cavalry Private Henry Klotzbucher said this to concerned comrades during the Valley Fight at the Battle of the Little Bighorn on June 25, 1876.





Events of the west


coastland—across nearly 20,000 square feet of indoor and

Call 405-478-2250 or visit national

outdoor spaces at the Autry Museum in Griffith Park, Los Angeles. Featured are two exhibition galleries of art, arti- facts and objects, many on loan from the Southwest Mu- seum of the Ameri- can Indian, as well

Defeat of Jesse James


as a new ethno- botanical garden.

Northfield, Minn., hosts the annual Defeat of Jesse James


Tombstone, Ariz., revisits the Wild West with its annual Helldorado Days festival Oct. 21–23, featuring gunfight reenactors, line dancers, cowboy storytelling, West-

to “King of the Cow- boys” Roy Rogers. Up for grabs is a pair of engraved, silver-plated Colts with ivory grips in a Hollywood-style Buscadero rig. Happy Trails is the nation’s only known children’s charity that actively

Boundaries: Explor- ing Yellowstone’s Great Animal Migra- tion,” focuses on the migration of elk and other wildlife in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. The exhi- bition features inter-

Call 323-667-2000 or visit

Days Sept. 7–11, during which volun- teers will reenact the Sept. 7, 1876, North- field Raid, in which the James-Younger gang targeted a bank but met with disaster. Visit

ern music, a pa-

supports shooting

Prix de West


rade, gun raffles

sports and responsible

The National Cowboy


and vittles aplenty. Visit tombstone

gun ownership. For more visit happytrails. org or call 855-788-

& Western Heritage Museum’s annual Prix de West invita-

The publication of Christopher Cardo- zo’s Edward S. Curtis:

Happy Trails

4440 to purchase tickets (you need not

tional art exhibit, fea- turing more than 300

One Hundred Master- works coincides with


be present to win).

active maps, cultural


Western paintings and

a traveling exhibition

On Dec. 17 the Happy Trails Chil-


objects, videography, photography and

sculpture by contem- porary Western artists,

of the photographer’s images. The exhibit

dren’s Foundation


artwork. Call 307-587-

continues in Okla-

visits the Glenbow

holds its Silver Screen Legend XIX drawing, dedicated as usual

On view through 2016 at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyo., “Invisible

4771 or visit centerof

homa City through Aug. 7. Above is The Lake of Glass, an oil by Andrew Peters

Museum in Calgary, Alberta, through Sept. 18; and the Flagler Museum in


of Council Bluffs,

Palm Beach, Fla.,


Opening Oct. 9, the exhibition “California Continued” relates the state’s ecological story—from deserts to

Iowa, which won the 2015 Purchase Award and was added to the museum’s perma- nent art collection.

Oct. 11–Dec. 31. The exhibit and book feature fine photos of Indians. Visit

Send upcoming event notices to Wild West, 1600 Tysons Blvd., Suite 1140, Tysons, VA 22102-4883. Submit at least four months in advance.




Longtime Western historian Bill O’Neal keeps very busy. Appointed Texas state historian by Governor Rick Perry in 2012, O’Neal has taught at Panola College in Carthage since 1970 and blogs weekly about his revelations regard- ing Texas history [lonestarhistorian.blogspot. com and]. He has written more than 40 books, includ- ing Sam Houston: A Study in Leadership (2016) and the forthcoming Frontier Forts of West Texas. O’Neal recently made room in his packed schedule to speak with Wild West.

What led you to write about Sam Houston? In 2012, shortly after being appointed state historian, I was asked to present a lecture at the Bullock Texas State History Museum [] in Austin and was assigned the topic “Lead- ership Qualities of Sam Houston.” I’ve been fascinated by “Old

Sam Jacinto” all of my life, and I lectured about him for more than 30 years in my Texas history classes at Panola College. So it was

a pleasure to develop my ideas about Houston as a leader, and

the audience response was so strong that I used the topic on other occasions. It was a particular thrill to deliver the keynote at the San Jacinto Monument [] on San Jacinto Day 2014. This was a subject that needed to be developed into a book.

What were his best qualities and worst flaws? In combat Houston exhibited raw physical courage. He led from the front and suffered severe wounds leading charges at Horse- shoe Bend and at San Jacinto. Sheer physical size is an asset for a military leader, and with his imposing physique Houston commanded instant respect from other soldiers. He was an

extraordinary orator, a useful gift in both military and political leadership. Houston held powerful convictions, and he readily assumed responsibility for his actions. Although he made friends easily, when crossed, he would excoriate his adversaries ruth- lessly, thus developing bitter enemies. And he drank heavily,

a trait noticed by the public and proclaimed by his enemies.

What prompted your book on west Texas forts? Texas has seen more combat, civilian as well as military, than any other state or territory. The U.S. Army built more forts in Texas than in any other state, but by the time we became a state, the conflicts between Anglo settlers and American Indians had ended in east Texas, and the military frontier had shifted westward. Many of these forts have been wonderfully pre- served, while others are in ruins. But at all of these sites the 19th-century ghosts may be felt. In Texas the Army learned to




utilize cavalry against horseback warriors, and “forts” were not fortified—they were mili- tary towns, bases from which to launch pa- trols and pursuits. The U.S. Camel Corps oper- ated in Texas, and so did all four regiments of buffalo soldiers.

What does being the state historian mean to you? I was astounded when notified of my appoint- ment. I’m in my second term now. I’m pretty much allowed to freelance, so I function as an ambassador for Texas history. I speak at historical events and for every type of group in the Lone Star State. Now I’ve been asked by a university press to write a book about my state historian travels around Texas, in sort of a Charles Kuralt manner. It’s been one of the most delightful and meaning- ful gigs in my career as a historian.

So does being state historian open any doors? My official status has opened many historical doors, including ones to the basements or attics of museums, where I get to see and handle great stuff not on public display.

What drew you to a career in Western history?

I fell in love with the Old West watching Western movies when I

was growing up. I started reading history books about the real-life characters and events that were part of these films. By the time

I was in college, I had a list of places I needed to visit, and I’ve been attacking that list for more than half a century. And since there was not a book on the Arizona Rangers, I wrote one. I’ve written many other books I wanted to read, and fewer than half of my books have been about Texas.

What about your sideline in baseball history? I’ve been hooked on baseball since boyhood, and I grew up watching Texas League games. One of my early books was a

centennial history of the Texas League, and that led to official league histories of four other minor leagues. At Cooperstown

I was welcomed as the “King of the Bush Leagues.”

Read the full interview online at

BOOKS BY O’NEAL: He has written, among many others, The Johnson-Sims Feud: Romeo and Juliet, West Texas Style (2010); Cheyenne, 1867–1903: A Biography of the “Magic City” of the Plains (2006); Historic Ranches of the Old West (1997); The Arizona Rangers (1987); and Encyclopedia of Western Gunfighters (1979).










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Dime novelist Edward

Zane Carroll Judson, an expert at promoting others (most notably Buffalo Bill Cody) and himself, was better known as E.Z.C. Judson and best known by his

pseudonym, Ned Buntline.

In the early 1880s he

signed both names on this cabinet card portrait of himself, inscribed on the reverse SARONYS


N.Y. Napoleon Sarony (1821–96) was a popu- lar portrait photographer whose subjects included General William T. Sher- man and writers Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde. Judson, who was born the same year as Sarony

but died 10 years earlier, served in the Navy and in 1844 adopted his pen name—“buntline” being a nautical term for

a line used to furl a sail.

“Buntline” or “Buntline Special” was also the name ascribed to long- barreled revolvers Judson allegedly ordered from Colt and presented to Western lawmen Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Bill Tilghman, Charlie Bassett and Neal Brown. That story, however, originated in the writing

of another Western yarn

spinner, Stuart Lake.


Teddy Roosevelt, Sitting Bull or Julius Caesar

Search PERSONALITIES at More than 5,000 articles available online


No doubt Cullen Baker looked nothing like this fellow from the cover illustration of The First Fast Draw, but author Louis L’Amour very loosely modeled the protagonist after Baker.



I n the humiliating aftermath of the Civil War many dispirited Southerners rallied around Cullen Baker, a cold-blooded Arkansas killer they propped up as a defiant ex-Rebel who continued to champion the Lost Cause against detested

Union occupation troops and Freedmen’s Bureau agents. Some of his fellow former Confederates sheltered, fed and supplied the fugitive, helping him elude pursuing soldiers and posses. But Baker’s long string of killings—into the double digits— actually began well before the war. The killer’s bloody tally prompted Western writer Louis L’Amour to loosely—albeit very loosely—base his 1959 novel The First Fast Draw on Baker.

In fact a shotgun was Cullen Baker’s preferred weapon, and many of his killings were outright murders of unarmed or un- suspecting victims. Baker killed his first man when he was 19. In the midst of the Civil War he deserted the Confederate army to become a wanton guerrilla raider. He was clearly mentally disturbed, and his continual drinking deepened his psychosis. Yet despite his reputation as a vicious, homicidal, alcoholic deserter, Baker somehow managed to glean sympathy and even a measure of respect during an era of frontier gunplay. Born in 1835 in west Tennessee’s Weakley County, Cullen Montgomery Baker moved with his family to Texas when he





was 4, and they eventually settled on a farm in Cass County. The hot-tempered youth enjoyed hunting and became a crack shot but was prone to misbehavior, fistfights and heavy drinking. In January 1854, when he was 18, Baker married Mary Jane Petty, but marriage didn’t improve his disposition or stem his drinking habit. That fall in a drunken rage he bullwhipped an orphan boy. When middle-aged neighbor Wesley Baily came forward as a witness, Baker promptly shot him in front of his family and then fled to Arkansas. After his wife fell ill and died in 1860, Baker left

their little girl with in-laws and largely forgot her. With the onset of the war the following spring he returned to Texas and joined a Confederate cav- alry company out of Jefferson. He soon deserted that unit and in February 1862 enlisted in another cavalry company at Linden, north of Jefferson.

In the midst of his checkered Confederate service

Private Baker married 15-year-old Martha Foster of Cass County and went AWOL to be with her, before wangling a “disability discharge” in 1863.

Baker soon headed up a band of fellow criminal mis- fits that hid out in the southwest Arkansas bottom- lands and swamps of the Sulphur River. Rumors had it the “Swamp Fox of the Sulphur” killed three or four Union troopers and a number of slaves.

A year after the war Baker’s young wife died.

Increasingly unbalanced and dissipated, he erected an effigy clad in her clothing. Within two months he proposed to his late wife’s 16-year-old sister, Belle. The girl and her parents stiffly declined. Belle instead married schoolteacher Thomas Orr. Pre- dictably, Baker began to bully Orr, who had a de- formed hand. After Baker tried to hang the teacher, Orr rallied fellow citizens against the outlaw. Baker resumed his deadly depredations in north- east Texas, southwest Arkansas and northwest Lou- isiana, leading his gang in raids that inevitably ended in robbery and murder. In Queen City, Texas, store- keeper John Rowden confronted the outlaw, and Baker triggered a load of buckshot into his chest. After his cold-blooded killing of a Texas freedman on his own farm, Baker faced determined pursuit by William Kirkman, an agent for the Freedmen’s Bureau, which Congress had established in 1865 to help freed blacks during Reconstruction. On June 25, 1867, Kirkman and several soldiers caught up with Baker in Boston, Texas. In the ensuing wild street shootout Baker killed Private Albert Titus with a shotgun blast, but Kirkman winged the outlaw leader in the arm. Elusive as ever, the wounded Baker managed to escape. Their game of cat and mouse continued more than a year, but in the early morning hours of Oct. 7, 1868, Baker cornered Kirkman in his Boston office


Above: Baker enlisted in the Confederate cavalry outside the Cass County Courthouse in Linden— Texas’ oldest courthouse in continuous operation. Left: A Confederate marker caps his grave at Oakland Cemetery in Jefferson, Texas.

and, with three accomplices, opened fire. Riddled with 16 shotgun and pistol balls, Kirkman triggered one shot before falling dead. Baker next went to southwest Arkansas to get bureau superintendent Hiram Willis, who had issued scathing public con- demnations of the outlaw leader. On October 24 Baker and a half-dozen gang members confronted Willis in a buggy on a business call, accompanied by a driver, an area planter and the local sheriff. When Willis went for his gun, the outlaws killed him, the driver and the planter. The sheriff bolted. Six days later Baker and other outlaws murdered two more freedmen. When freedman Jerry Sheffield publicly boasted he would lead pursuers to their hideout for a small reward, Baker and accomplices shot him down outside Queen City on December 6. Baker and men eluded the soldiers and citizens’ posses by crossing state borders and slipping into the Sulphur River swamps. But posted rewards assured relentless pursuit, and schoolteacher Orr led the posse that ultimately caught up to the gang. On Jan. 6, 1869, just east of Queen City across the Texas line in Arkansas, the pursuers surprised Baker and a cohort as they ate lunch. One account claims an accomplice had laced their food and liquor with strychnine, though to be certain, posse members fired bullets into Baker and his henchman. Possemen found a shotgun, four revolvers, three derringers and six knives on Baker’s corpse. Orr took the two bodies to military authorities in Jeffer- son. Baker’s grave in that city’s Oakland Cemetery bears a Confederate military marker, but the killer had brought no honor to the defeated South.




Missouri French




corn husk


capot de maïs




fried pastry

pâtisserie frite

galette chouage









rat de bois


raton laveur

chat chouage


grosse grenouille


slow moving

au ralenti

poc à poc


pomme de terre




Q uelle surprise! Many Midwesterners once spoke a dialect known as Missouri French, one of five French dialects that originated in the United States. While Missouri French, Muskrat French and Métis

French are all but extinct, Louisiana French and New England French (a subgroup of Canadian French) remain relatively vi- brant. As late as the 1940s Missouri French was the first language spoken by several thousand residents of the Old Mines commu- nity in the eastern reaches of the state. The dialect dates from the 1700s when French-speaking miners and trappers migrated south from Canada to find a rich mix of cultures. Out of necessity these settlers incorporated American Indian, African, Spanish, Cajun and English words into their everyday discourse. Eventually the language developed its own accent. Community elders and interested linguists have since preserved the distinctive dialect. Today perhaps only a few dozen speakers remain fluent, although many area residents recall a scattering of words and




phrases learned as children, when Missouri French was widely spoken at home. Ask around Old Mines for someone who speaks Missouri French, and most people point to Kent Bone, a fluent speaker and an avid student of the French history of the region. Bone is pleased to explain how the dialect varies from both classical and Canadian French, and he is well versed in the studies conducted on Missouri French since the early 1920s. “The Missouri French accent is closer to Canadian French than it is to Louisiana French,” Bone explains. He should know, as he has made repeated visits to Quebec City and Louisiana. “After I begin speaking, I get some strange looks,” he admits. “It does not take long for someone to ask what version of French I am speaking.” Missouri French originated in a 50-square-mile area centered on Old Mines, named for the area’s once prodigious lead mines. There are myriad reasons why the dialect survived. Foremost,


the area remained geographically isolated well

into the 1800s. There were few roads, and the rail- ways bypassed the area, so outside communication was minimal. Another reason was the strong sense of community. French settlers arranged their land in long, narrow plots, their homes clustered to- gether with farmland fanning out like spokes from

a hub. The purpose was to enjoy the communion

and security of village life. The resulting emphasis on family and community precluded the need to assimilate. The Old Mines region comprised as many as 30 such isolated French hamlets. Finally, into the early 20th century the local St. Joachim Catholic Church [] continued to offer Mass and the sacraments in Missouri French. The demise of Missouri French began in the early 1900s when public education and English lessons became compulsory in Missouri, prompt- ing the clergy at St. Joachim to present church services in English. About the same time improved mining machinery put a number of local laborers out of work, and many of these young men went overseas during World War I. If they spoke Mis- souri French when they entered the service, they seldom spoke it by the time they returned. During World War II a similar phenomenon affected many of the remaining speakers. In the postwar period English became the path to mainstream jobs and

a brighter future. Finally, improved highways and

modes of communication opened up the Old Mines community, exposing locals to people with varied ethnic backgrounds and languages. Does Missouri French have a future? One person

working to ensure it survives is Dennis Stroughmatt,

a student of Missouri French who makes his living

performing traditional songs in the dialect. The singing fiddler tours internationally, each year in- troducing thousands of people to the dialect. “One of my goals is to preserve the language,” he says, “as well as the Missouri French culture and music.” Stroughmatt himself was amazed to discover that many of the centuries-old songs he learned in Mis- souri French are played in many French-speaking countries using the same tunes. “Because of the small isolated area where Missouri French was spo- ken,” he explains, “many of the words used are similar to Old Norman French, dating to the 1700s.”

In a recent issue of the journal Archaeology Strough- matt explained the joy he gets “singing songs that are as much as 500 years old with people who are two or three times my age in a language that by all historical accounts should have been dead 200 years ago.” He thrives on the history as much as the music itself. “I am likely the only singer who has had anthropologists come to my concerts for

a reason other than listening to the music.”


Visible reminders of Old Mines’ surviving French heritage include surnames on area mailboxes. “Plenty of Aubuschons, Beguettes, Boubans, Lal- mondires, Rouleaus and Theabeaus still live here,” notes Bone, “as well as many others with French surnames.” The same names grace markers in the old town cemetery, many topped with tradi- tional French crosses. Other reminders include business signs in Missouri French. A yellow-black- and-red sign beside Bone’s driveway warns of a LUTIN CROSSING, a reference to a mythical French hobgoblin. And each spring and autumn locals and visitors gather at Old Mines for two grand fêtes (see sidebar, below), celebrating local French heritage with traditional food, music, reenactments and period festivities. Missouri French continues to defy the odds, and residents proudly recite Old Mines’ unofficial slo- gan: “On est toujours icitte” (“We are still here”).


Opposite: French crosses mark settlers’ graves in the Old Mines cemetery. Above: A spinner demos

her craft on the porch of

a cabin preserved by the

Old Mines Area Historical

Society. Below: Reflecting local heritage are signs such as this (a lutin is

a French hobgoblin).

La Fête a Renault, held the third weekend in May, marks the early 1700s arrival in the region of pioneering French lead miners under Phillippe François Renault. During the festival more than 200 reenactors stay in tents on the green below St. Joachim Catholic Church, dressing and living the part of early settlers. Participants even bake bread in dome-shaped ovens reminiscent of the period. Fête de l’Automne, held the first Sunday of October, features globe- trotting singer and fiddler Dennis Stroughmatt, who performs traditional Missouri French songs. Attendees to both events can also take in storytelling and sample traditional French food. The Old Mines Area Historical Society hosts both events. For more information email or visit



A.P. Giannini’s genuine concern for depositors enhanced his standing in the Italian-American communities throughout California. His Bank of America was a huge success coast to coast and helped put his face on a 1973 U.S. stamp.



O n the morning of April 18, 1906, San Francisco

Police Sergeant Jesse Cook noted how horses along

the waterfront neighed and pulled anxiously at their

carts, as if disturbed by some unseen phenomena.

Minutes later Cook heard “a deep rumble, deep and terrible” and watched Washington Street buckle, “as if waves of the ocean were coming towards me.” Reporter Fred Hewitt of The San Francisco Examiner later described how a little after 5:12 a.m. the dome of the recently completed City Hall, symbol of San Francisco’s pres- tige and modernity, sloughed its masonry into the streets below. Only its steel frame remained visible to the terror-stricken popu- lace, who could only stand by as a 7.8 magnitude earthquake and subsequent fires destroyed much of the city, killing 3,000 people. Fearing his business might be a total loss, A.P. Giannini, founder of the start-up Bank of Italy, trekked 17 miles on foot




from his San Mateo home. Given the devastation he witnessed en route, Giannini later admitted, “I didn’t have much hope for the bank.” Miraculously the building, on Montgomery Avenue in North Beach, remained intact, but the fires were spreading. Appreciating his customers’ dire need to access their deposits in the wake of the disaster, Giannini had the vault contents loaded into two wagons for transport to a secure location. To disguise the contents from roving looters, bank officials topped off the wagonloads with crates of oranges. Two days later Giannini opened a “temporary bank” on Wash- ington Street using two barrels spanned by a wooden plank and extending credit “on a face and a signature.” His expedi- tious response and genuine concern for depositors’ needs enhanced the banker’s standing within San Francisco’s growing Italian-American community.

The Giannini family had migrated from north- ern Italy to northern California in the 1860s, and Amadeo Pietro was born in San Jose in 1870. Trag- ically, his father was murdered when A.P. was still a boy. So, when it came time to learn a trade, the ambitious youngster entered the produce brokerage and loan business owned by stepfather Lorenzo Scatena. L. Scatena & Co. served Italian-American merchants requiring working capital and farmers accustomed to making short-term deposits. California’s Legislature had not always been favorable to banking institutions. To prevent banks from issuing inflated paper money with few gold or silver deposits on hand to secure their value, the state constitution of 1849 decreed that “no such associations shall make, issue or put into circulation any bill, check, ticket, certificate, promissory note or other paper, or the paper of any bank to circu- late as money.” Toward the end of the 19th century the Legislature eased its banking regulations, given savings institutions’ positive impact on California’s growing economy. The modified state constitution of 1879 omitted all references to banks. Believing loan institutions should serve the “little fellow,” Giannini launched Bank of Italy in 1904. He went door to door in North Beach to drum up deposits and enlarged his customer base by advo- cating small loans, some as little as $25. The young banker ran newspaper ads like the following:

ONE DOLLAR It is not much—but it is worth saving. With one dollar you can open a savings account which may be the beginning of your fortune. If in this moment you have one dollar which you may either spend thought- lessly or place in a safe place, come to our bank and deposit it. It will earn interest together with other funds which you may be able to deposit.

His personalized approach proved timely, as much of the Italian-American community sought out Bank of Italy for construction loans in the wake of the earthquake. Business boomed, and a 1918 arti- cle in Life quipped how San Franciscans regarded Giannini: “While A.M. stands for the first half of the day and P.M. for the latter half of the day, A.P.G. [Amadeo Pietro Giannini] stands for all day.” By 1925 Bank of Italy had obtained nearly 3.5 million in deposits and opened nearly 5,000 accounts that year alone, all originating from the deposits and loans of California’s Italian-American communities. Three years later the bank became the fifth largest in the nation, with 280 branches in California. In 1909 the Legislature had passed the California Bank Act, which allowed branch banking. Giannini quickly adopted this model, establishing Bank of


Italy branches statewide and ensuring his directors, “We could diversify our risks and our business …through units based on different geographical sections and trades.” Throughout the “Roaring Twenties” the aggressive banker continued to open branches and acquire smaller banks. In 1930 Gi- annini decided the bank’s Los Angeles subsidiary, Bank of America, would serve as the moniker for a planned transcontinental branch system. As a trust company in New York City shared the same name, Giannini simply purchased it under his holding company, Transamerica. Bank of America now had branches on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. In the 1930s Giannini confronted the Great De- pression and an attempted takeover of Transamerica by a partner of the holding firm. And while the sol- vency of Bank of America calmed depositors and creditors alike, Giannini, like other bankers, faced the scrutiny of federal examiners then seeking to reg- ulate the industry. In a backhanded testament to Gi- annini’s business acumen, the chairman of the newly created Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation even criticized how the bank’s “small army of depos- itors” had enabled Bank of America to ultimately hold half the total deposits insured by the FDIC. When Elisha Walker attempted a proxy bid for control of the holding company in 1932, Giannini elicited Italian-American shareholders to give him their votes. Across the branches Italian-American employees voiced a common refrain: “We don’t know Walker. Look what A.P. Giannini did for our people. Before he came we were ‘dagos’; now we are Americans!” Giannini thwarted the bid. By the time of Giannini’s death in 1949, his Bank of America had financed the Golden Gate Bridge as well as several major film studios. He had also implemented installment credit, auto loans and a lease program by which farmers could continue working on foreclosed properties. Giannini donated untold millions to charitable causes, and his personal assets at death amounted to less than $500,000. “I never had the money itch,” he said more than once. Today Bank of America has nearly $9 billion in loans outstanding and $1.2 trillion in deposits—a tes- tament to Giannini’s belief in the “little fellow.”

Giannini built his Bank of Italy by stressing to depositors that even the small accounts mattered.


Fourth-generation pipe maker Travis Erickson, opposite right, expends much time and labor to craft pipes like these. His more ornate pipes depict such animals as bison, horses and eagles.



T he methodical cadence of steel on steel rings out

on a warm June evening. In a pit 18 feet below the

surface of the tallgrass prairie Travis Erickson de-

livers well-placed strikes with a sledgehammer to

a deftly positioned wedge. After several powerful blows a thick slab of pipestone breaks from the rock formation. Travis, a member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate [swo-nsn. gov] and a fourth-generation Sioux pipe maker (see related article “Fountain of the Red Pipe” on P. 40), leans the sledge- hammer against the quartzite wall of his one-man quarry at Pipestone National Monument [] in southwestern Minnesota and hefts the pipestone slab. “I like working with the bottom pipestone layer the best,” he explains. “It’s the hardest.




I can do lots of detail work with the bottom layer. It has a nice, illuminating red luster.” Travis has been hand-quarrying pipestone for more than 35 years. Before working the rock, he takes the time to burn sage, pray and offer tobacco. “When I burn the sage, it is showing respect to Mother Earth.” Once Travis frees the stone, the true art begins. “Lots of times when I look at a pipestone block, it tells me what it wants to be,” he says. “Once I have my piece of stone picked out, I’ll lay my pipe pattern on it, draw it in pencil, then use my hacksaw to cut the pipe out of the rock. I’ll use the rasp file—it’s aggressive on one side and smoothing on the other. The rough side knocks down the pipestone quickly to the basic shape I want. I use the


finer side to shape it the way I want it. I use sand- paper to finish the pipe. I drill my holes with a steel drill bit. We use beeswax to darken the stone.” While the tradition remains sacrosanct, tech- niques have changed. “In the old days they rubbed the pipestone against the quartzite to knock it down to the shape they wanted and used flint to drill the holes. They would use bear grease or buffalo fat to darken it.” Travis’ works are showcased at the National Museum of the American Indian [] in Washington, D.C. It’s a living, but first and fore- most it’s a spiritual undertaking. The artist ex- plains his process: “I’m looking at this piece of stone and saying, ‘What do you want to be?’ and then I see the image of a bear paw holding a bee- hive. ‘All right spirit, that’s a good idea.’” He carves


simple elbows and T-shaped pipe bowls as well as ornate figures of bears, buffalo, horses and eagles. Travis draws power from the quartzite and pipe- stone. “I get recharged spiritually and mentally when I’m working my quarry,” he says. “The pipe- stone belongs to Earth Mother. She allows me to take it out. What is the most sacred thing on earth? Some say the pipe, but I say no. The most sacred thing is God loves you so much. He put you on this earth so you can experience life in your way. That is my truth. Each person has their own truth. “My teaching from my grandfather and uncles is the pipe is a stick and a stone stuck together, and when you pray with it, it becomes a sacred pipe. Then you are responsible for the journey of that pipe in your life. My belief is one truth of many. It is my truth. Prayer works. And I am happy.”


Soldiers ultimately caught up to the defiant shaman Bai-a-lil-le at his hogan (similar to Robert Draper’s Navajo Hogan, below).



R egarding friend Joseph A. “Jody” Lyman’s swollen, maggot-filled wound, Lemuel Hardison “Lem” Redd Jr. fought the urge to vomit. The men were part of a five-man Mormon posse that had tracked

a pair of horse thieves to the Crossing of the Fathers on the

Colorado River in fall 1881. In an exchange of gunfire with the rustlers Lyman had taken a bullet to the leg, which had shattered

his femur above the knee. One man had gone for help from the Mormon settlement in Bluff, Utah Territory, 100 miles east, but Redd and the two others who remained with Lyman wondered whether their friend could hold on that long. Days later they heard the beat of approaching hooves. They hoped the riders were rescuers and not the rustlers. To their relief it was a band of friendly Navajos. The headman,

a medicine man named Bai-a-lil-le (One With Supernatural

Power), slid off his pony and went directly to Lyman. After examining the injured man’s leg, he made a poultice from the flesh of a prickly pear cactus and applied it to the wound. Lyman recovered to live another 44 years. Some of Bai-a-lil-le’s tribes- men held him in awe for his power to heal, as well as his seeming




ability to draw or withhold the rain and call down lightning on his enemies. Others, though, feared he was a sorcerer. Born in 1859 in Canyon de Chelly (near present-day Chinle, Ariz.), Bai-a-lil-le stirred up trouble as a youngster and was banished from his clan. He settled on the Navajo Nation near Aneth, in the southeast corner of Utah Territory, but ill wind seemed to follow him. The Navajos there accused Bai-a-lil-le of hastening the death of a sick woman by inserting a clump of hair into her body. They, too, forced him into exile. Drifting north, he settled among the Mormons and learned English. When the enmity toward him had subsided in Aneth, he re- turned to his people a more learned and much feared medicine man. He soon demonstrated his healing power by treating the wounded member of the Mormon posse. On April 15, 1884, Bai-a-lil-le and other Navajos got in a row with white settlers at Henry Mitchell’s trading post on the San Juan River near Aneth. In the melee one Indian was killed, while Bai-a-lil-le took a glancing blow from a slug to the forehead. Knocked to the ground, he soon revived and fled to his band’s refuge some 30 miles northwest of Shiprock, New Mexico Terri-


tory, on the fringes of the Navajo Nation. There, left largely undisturbed, his followers did not experi- ence the white man’s yoke as had other Navajos. And from there Bai-a-lil-le railed against the forced assimilation of Navajos into the white world. In 1903 Bai-a-lil-le ran into a headwind when Indian agent William T. Shelton established the Northern Navajo Agency and San Juan Boarding School at Shiprock. On paper anyway the defiant medicine man’s band fell under Shelton’s authority.

butt of his revolver. Williard then ordered his cav- alrymen to ride out and subdue the surrounding hogans. In the 20-minute skirmish that followed, Bai-a-lil-le’s relatives paid dearly. Troopers killed his son-in-law Little Wet, mortally wounded his son-in-law Little Warrior and wounded his nephew Fuzzy Hat in both legs, though with help the latter managed to escape into the underbrush. The brief clash marked the last cavalry charge against hostile Indians in the United States.


by-the-book disciplinarian, the agent had little use

Troopers bound Bai-a-lil-le and nine others and

for wards unwilling to toe the line, while Bai-a-lil-le

hauled them off to Shiprock, where Shelton had

clung stubbornly to Navajo traditions, scoffing at Shelton and the power of the government he repre- sented. Shelton intermittently sent envoys to parlay with Bai-a-lil-le’s band, all of which were rebuffed. Tensions escalated as Bai-a-lil-le strong-armed other Navajos into noncompliance and on several occa- sions threatened to kill Shelton. In the fall of 1906, in an effort to wipe out a scabies infestation among reservation livestock, Shelton ordered the Navajos to dip their sheep in

them paraded before his agency wards as exam- ples of “bad Indians.” Perhaps seeking leniency, the medicine man admitted his guilt and vowed to amend his ways. Regardless Indian Commis- sioner Leupp arbitrarily sentenced him and his lead follower Polly to 10 years hard labor at Fort Huachuca, Arizona Territory. The others received two-year sentences. That wasn’t the end of it. In late 1908 the Indian Rights Association lobbied for the release of the

provided vats of insecticide. Bai-a-lil-le refused, in- stead trading his animals for whiskey and firearms

prisoners, assailing the government for sentencing them “without any pretense of a legal hearing.”


Cortez, Colo., against the agent’s orders. In Feb-

After months of legal wrangling, the government

ruary 1907 Shelton sent yet another delegation of Navajo headmen to parlay with Bai-a-lil-le, hoping

released the prisoners in early 1909. Soon after returning home, Bai-a-lil-le got into


finally persuade the adult members of his band

an argument with fellow Navajo Cream Color


enroll their children in the boarding school, of

Horses and threatened to call down lightning on

which Shelton was superintendent. In no mood to listen, Bai-a-lil-le and his warriors brandished their weapons and fired into the air as the envoys left. That spring Shelton sent still more delegations, appealing to Bai-a-lil-le’s followers to both school their children and end their longstanding practice

him. Unimpressed by the threat, Cream Color Horses replied, “You, Bai-a-lil-le, are going to be swallowed by a big snake, and I place the San Juan River as the big snake.” (The sidewinding river symbolized a snake to the Navajos.) Cream Color Horses’ medicine proved stronger. In May 1911 Bai-


polygamy. The recalcitrant shaman replied with

a-lil-le and another man tried to cross the swollen

further death threats. Should the Indian police and

river in a boat when it capsized. The other man

soldiers press the issue, Bai-a-lil-le warned, he and his warriors would fan out in the rocks and shoot

made it safely to shore, but Bai-a-lil-le, weighted down by his pistol and cartridge belts, vanished


kill. He also threatened to call down lightning

into the belly of the big snake.

on any Navajos who didn’t fall in line.

Shelton finally appealed for intervention from Francis E. Leupp, commissioner of Indian Affairs in Washington D.C., and Leupp in turn implemented President Theodore Roosevelt’s “Big Stick” diplo- matic policy. On Oct. 22, 1907, Troops I and K of the 5th U.S. Cavalry left Fort Wingate, New Mexi- co Territory, under the command of Captain Harry O. Williard. His orders—run down the troublemaker. Bai-a-lil-le’s band was camped on the south bank

of the San Juan River about 4 miles southeast of

Aneth. At dawn on October 28 Williard’s dismount- ed cavalrymen rushed the medicine man’s hogan and began scuffling with its occupants. An enraged Bai-a-lil-le fiercely resisted until one of the troopers knocked him cold with blows to the head with the


Indian agent William T. Shelton (third from left in first row) had his hands full with Bai-a-lil-le and in 1907 got help from the U.S. Cavalry to deal with the Navajo shaman.


Wanted in Arizona Territory and tracked to Colorado, the notorious gambler and Earp associate sought refuge in booming Butte By Peter Brand


I n July 1884 John Henry “Doc” Holli-

day was down and out. He was living—and slowly dying—in Leadville, Colorado. The Rocky Mountain mining town sat at more than 10,000 feet, and the altitude and harsh winters had contributed to Doc’s demise. Already suffering from tuberculosis, he faced the added burden of recurrent pneumonia. Due to his poor health he had lost his job dealing faro and had pawned all his jewelry just to make ends meet. Adding insult to injury, the March 1 Salida Daily Mail had reported that Holliday’s one- time close friend Wyatt Earp and fellow gambler Johnny “Crooked Mouth” Green had visited that mountain town some 60 miles south of Leadville apparently without seeking out Doc. Earp and Holliday had proved a tough combi- nation three years earlier in Tombstone, Arizona Territory, where Holliday had clashed with rival gambler John E. Tyler, and Earp, after his own confrontation with Tyler, had pressured the gam- bler to leave town. The resulting humiliation and loss of income left Tyler with hard feelings. As luck would have it, he had relocated to Leadville. There Doc was alone and vulnerable. Seeing a chance to restore some of his lost pride, Tyler went on the prod and confronted Holliday in a saloon on the evening of July 21, practically inviting Doc to pull his gun. But Doc was unarmed, as he could not afford to be arrested for carrying a concealed weapon. He had little choice but to take vile abuse from Tyler and his cronies and to beat a shameful retreat from the saloon. Doc, already at a low point, then made another bad error of judgment—he borrowed a paltry $5 from William J. “Billy” Allen, a bartender and co-worker of Tyler’s. Allen was a powerfully built 31-year-old with a hard reputation; he was ru- mored to have killed a man in Illinois before drift- ing into Colorado and joining the Leadville police force in 1880. When Allen pressed Holliday to repay the loan, a broke Doc could only beg for more time. Allen gave Holliday a deadline of August 19 at noon and warned Doc that if he didn’t pay up, he would re- ceive a beating. Billy repeated the threat to others. On the afternoon of the 19th, hours past the dead- line, Allen strode through the door of Hyman’s

saloon to confront Holliday. Doc, noting that Billy’s hands were in his pockets and believing him to be armed, reached beneath the bar, raised his pistol and fired. His first shot missed, but his sec- ond caught Allen in the upper right arm, nicking an artery. Bystanders bustled off Billy to the doctor, while authorities charged Doc with assault and threw him in jail. At a subsequent hearing several witnesses testified Allen had threatened Holliday over nonpayment of the loan. Some pointed out the obvious physi- cal discrepancies between the men. Doc’s fellow gamblers were especially sympathetic and testi- fied Holliday had had good cause to believe Allen meant him harm, especially in light of the rumor Billy had previously killed a man. At the conclu- sion of the hearing, however, the judge bound over Holliday for trial. Doc spent several days in jail before the gambling fraternity put up his bail. John Tyler must have been pleased to see Holli- day on his knees, but he was grappling with his own demons. His drinking habit was getting the better of him, and on November 15 Tyler paid $8 and costs in police court on a charge of being drunk and disorderly. Meanwhile, Holliday struggled on in Leadville. How he managed to sustain himself is uncertain, but his friends may have taken pity on him and paid his bills or provided him a stake with which to gamble. Doc managed to stay out of further trouble and dutifully showed up for his trial in late March 1885. His defense team contended he had shot Allen out of fear for his life, and the jury agreed, acquitting Doc. The embattled gambler’s spirits must have lifted, and his luck at the faro table seemed to have im- proved, too, as in June he was able to lend $50 to fellow gambler Curly Mack. On June 12 the Aspen Daily Times reported Holliday had collected the outstanding debt in a Leadville saloon a few nights previously. After watching Curly win big at the faro table, Doc had apparently reclaimed the $50 at gunpoint. Flush with cash and buoyed by the warmer weather, Holliday decided to take a break and a risk. He would leave Colorado and head north to try his luck in new surroundings—Butte, Montana Territory. There he would no longer have


Getting His Due

When a bullying Billy Allen came to collect an overdue loan, Holliday shot him.

to worry about John Tyler or Billy Allen. He could start with a clean slate.

The move to Butte was a bold stroke for a man still wanted in Arizona Territory for his partici- pation, with Wyatt Earp and his federally depu- tized posse, in the March 1882 revenge killing of Frank Stilwell in Tucson. Holliday, who had arrived in Colorado little over a month after the shooting, had already evaded one unsuccessful extradition attempt by Arizona authorities, and he must have been mindful the same thing could happen in Montana. Earp himself had ventured to Aspen in early May 1885 and partnered in the Fashion saloon. Though he stayed through fall, there is no record Wyatt ever tried to contact Doc in Leadville, and it’s telling Holliday chose to leave Colorado rather than, say, relocating to nearby Aspen to reunite with Earp. It certainly suggests a rift of sorts re- mained between the former friends. Sadly for Doc, he would continue to face his challenges alone. Butte was booming in the summer of 1885. The silver-rich town had lured miners from around the world and boasted a population of 14,000. Many Leadville residents were joining the rush to Mon- tana Territory. The Butte Daily Miner proudly an- nounced Holliday’s arrival on July 13, acclaiming Doc as “well known throughout the entire country” and “a hale fellow well met.” Holliday booked into the recently renovated Revere House on Main Street, which offered guests a central location and free transportation to and from the train depot. The hotel advertised 65 handsomely carpeted rooms, complete with walnut furniture, spring beds and a parlor on each floor for the convenience of its guests. And the finest delicacies were available in an adjoining restaurant, which served meals at all hours. Doc, it seemed, would indulge in as many comforts as possible, despite his chronic illness. He quickly settled into saloon life, the Semi-Weekly Miner later reporting Doc “made a great many warm friends among the sporting fraternity.” Butte happily catered to its growing population of gamblers, partic- ularly around the time of Doc’s arrival, with the summer horse racing season in full swing. Hordes of citizens and professional gamblers alike attended the races, which predominantly featured trotters. But sporting men were spoiled for choice. During Doc’s seven-month stay Butte offered a variety of other ways for gamblers to win and lose large sums. Faro and stud poker were ever popular in the saloons, local tracks and rinks held foot and roller-skating races, and boxing matches and billiard tournaments attracted the best exponents from the West Coast. Bookmakers held money on every event.


What a Butte

Silver-rich Butte was booming when Doc went there to gamble.

Among the more successful horse owners and trainers was Isaac “Ike” Morehouse, who with partner William Gwin also ran the most popular gambling hall in Butte—the unimagina- tively named Gwin & Morehouse on Main. The saloon and gaming rooms occupied the front of the building, while the Eureka Chop House leased the back rooms. Holliday frequented

both during his stay in Butte. But Doc’s name was conspicuously absent from newspapers between August and November 1885, suggesting he kept out of trouble and conducted himself in a peaceable and likely lucrative manner. Commenting later on Doc’s stay, the Semi-Weekly Miner claimed he “made several gun plays,” but the paper itself offers no contemporary reports to support that assertion.

Anyone who did cause trouble in Butte had to contend with Chief of Police David F. Meiklejohn and his force. Scottish-born Meiklejohn was a veteran lawman, having first worked with Morgan Earp on the Butte police force in 1879. He had a hard reputation and was not averse to administer- ing tough justice when making arrests. In 1888 Meiklejohn’s brutality would lose him his position on the police force. During Doc’s stint in the city, however, the 37-year-old Scot was large and in charge, and Holliday for the most part behaved himself. The gambler maintained ties with family or friends, as the December 30 Semi-Weekly Miner listed a letter waiting for him at the post office.

Unfortunately for Doc, his failing health and drinking habits caught up with him, just as they had in Leadville. That winter

in Butte he contracted a heavy cold, which, coupled with his advanced tuberculosis, left him in a seemingly irritable and aggres- sive state. On the evening of Jan. 15, 1886 he was drinking heavily at the Gwin & Morehouse saloon, perhaps in an effort to self- medicate and alleviate his discomfort. At some point Doc took

a break from the bar to have a meal at the adjoining Eureka

Chop House. There, according to a later report, he approached

a man seated on a high stool at the counter. Holliday made

drunken overtures to the stranger, but the man didn’t recipro-

cate. Annoyed by the rebuff, Doc reportedly drew his pistol, took aim at the stranger’s head, then forced the

man to “dance a quickstep” by hopping on and off his stool. Eureka proprietor Frederick Wey and patron Oliver P. Blaine witnessed the abuse and may have intervened to stop further trouble. No shots were fired and Holliday eventually moved on, leaving behind a badly traumatized victim. The Semi-Weekly Miner denounced Doc for his “cowardly attack on an innocent and inoffensive person.” Responding to a complaint, Chief Meiklejohn went looking for Holliday, finally spotting his sus- pect in the Arcade Chop House on Main. Traveling salesman George T. Buffum claimed to have wit- nessed what happened next and retold the story in a 1905 newspaper interview. He said that when

Chief in Lodge Robes

Butte Police Chief David F. Meiklejohn is out of uniform in this portrait.


Meiklejohn walked through the door, Doc, ex- pecting gunplay, backed against a wall. Instead, the chief walked up to the bar, bought a drink and invited Doc to join him. Holliday obliged, and a few minutes later the chief calmly placed the sickly gambler under arrest. Doc had been wise not to resist arrest. That very night a Butte policeman shot a thief, and the next day the Semi-Weekly Miner quoted Chief Meiklejohn as saying, “The entire police force has been in- structed to shoot any thief or other criminal who does not submit to arrest—and the boys intend to obey the order.” Holliday was released pending investigation. On February 17 District Attorney William Y. Pem- berton presented the case against Holliday, and the




Holliday Indicted

District Attorney William Y. Pemberton presented a case against Doc in Butte.

Doc’s Endgame

After the Tombstone shootout, Holliday found less lethal excitement in Colorado and Montana.

grand jury indicted Doc on a charge of “drawing and exhibiting a deadly weapon.” The indictment listed a John H. Brumley as the first witness in the case, possibly indicating he had been the victim of Doc’s drunken gunplay. The next day Deputy Sheriff Joseph Buzzo went to Doc’s hotel room to serve a warrant only to find him confined to bed. The attending physician, Dr. Clark Johnson, told the deputy Holliday was too sick to be moved to the county jail, and any attempt to do so would endanger his life. The deputy accepted the diagno- sis and allowed Doc to remain in his room, with the expectation he would furnish bond and await trial. Doc was in trouble—likely unable to afford bond and certainly too sick to survive a jail term. Adding to his worries was the fear that reports of his pres- ent legal troubles might prompt Arizona Territory lawmen to launch another extradition attempt. Holliday decided he was through with Butte. On February 19, acting on a rumor the gambler had vanished, a Semi-Weekly Miner reporter went to Doc’s lodgings and learned the patient had “re- covered” sufficiently to pack his bags and was last seen boarding an eastbound train. Some claimed Holliday had departed for St. Paul, Minn., while the Deer Lodge New North-west suggested he might be hiding somewhere in Butte. In truth Doc had hopped a train and headed back to the relative safety of Colorado, specifically the gambling clubs of Denver. As fate would have it, on June 11 the Rocky Moun- tain News reported that Wyatt Earp and wife Josie had arrived in Denver from Trinidad and were staying at the Brunswick Hotel. According to Josie’s later recollections, she and Wyatt ran into Doc in a hotel lobby on one of their visits to Denver. If that meeting did in fact occur, it would likely have happened during this particular stopover. Josie re- lated the sentimental tale of how Doc had heard Wyatt was in town and wanted to meet with him one more time, as Holliday knew his days were numbered. She claimed the old friends had recon- ciled and parted on good terms, sadly and silently knowing they would never see each other again. In July and August 1886 Denver experienced an influx of gamblers and confidence men arriving for the summer horse races. As part of an ongoing civic reform agenda, police cracked down on the sporting fraternity, making use of a new vagrancy law to deal with suspicious types. Unfortunately


End of Holliday

Doc died with his boots off at Hotel Glenwood in Glenwood Springs, Colo., on Nov. 8, 1887.

for Doc, he was swept up in one such crackdown, arrested with two other gamblers on August 3. It seemed Denver, too, was done with Doc, though by then he was too sick to care. Packing his meager possessions, he eventually made his way back to Leadville. He apparently wintered there with no further trouble from John Tyler or Billy Allen. In May 1887 Doc bade farewell to Leadville and headed on down the line to Glenwood Springs to avail himself of the purported healing waters of the local hot springs. It would be his last stop. Curiously, the September 9 Leadville Evening Chronicle advised readers Holliday was in New Orleans, raising the possibility he had visited the “Big Easy” at some point after leaving Denver the year before. In fact Doc was slowly wasting away in Glenwood Springs, where he bravely eked out a living as a bartender in a local saloon. By October he was confined to his hotel bed, no longer able to work or even move about. The sporting crowd in Leadville heard of Holliday’s dire situation and took up a collection in early November. The funds arrived too late. Doc, only 36, had died in his room at the Hotel Glenwood on the morning of November 8. He was buried later that same day, attended by a large group of mourners. Reporting on Doc’s death, Leadville’s Carbonate Chronicle best summed up the tormented gambler, lauding him as “one of the most fearless men on the frontier …whose devotion to his friends in the climax of the fiercest ordeal was inextinguishable.”

Peter Brand [], a re- searcher and writer of the American West, is based in Sydney, Australia. Recommended for further reading: “Spitting Lead in Leadville:

Holliday’s Last Stand,” by Roger Jay, in the December 2003 Wild West, and Doc Holli- day: The Life and Legend, by Gary L. Roberts.



Doc’s marker is at Linwood Cemetery in Glenwood Springs.



John Tyler eventually left Leadville and re- turned to California, where he was well known from his days “bucking the tiger” in San Francisco in the 1870s. He spent some time in Grass Valley before his battle with the bottle again got the better of him. Broke and desperate, he landed in Spokane Falls, Wash., scoring a job dealing faro at a local gambling resort. But Tyler couldn’t control his heavy drinking, and on the morning of Jan. 21, 1891, he collapsed on the street after an all-night bender and died of a heart attack. The sporting fraternity paid for the 52-year-old’s burial in an unmarked grave. Billy Allen recov- ered from the gun- shot wound inflicted by Doc Holliday and went on to become fire chief of Cripple Creek, Colo. He later joined the Klondike Gold Rush to Alaska and was appointed a deputy U.S. marshal in Nome. He ultimately moved to Seattle, where he lived out his days. Allen died on March 21, 1941, at the Washington Soldiers’ Home in Orting. He was 87. —P.B.

Remembering Adelia

Although she lived to be nearly 80 and was the sister of Wyatt Earp (opposite, in detail from Don Crowley’s Wyatt Earp: The Last Summer), Adelia Edwards was largely forgotten until her alleged memoir surfaced in the 1970s.





Wyatt’s little sister was a footnote in the field of Earpiana—until an imaginative Englishman put pen to paper By Scott Dyke

Dear Daughter

Mary Virginia “Ginnie” Edwards, born in 1880, was the first of Adelia Edwards’ nine children.


Young Wyatt

Earp was about 21 when he posed for the photo at right in 1869 or ‘70, probably in Lamar, Mo.

yatt Earp never seems to wear out his welcome. He had a measure of fame in his lifetime, and well after his 1929 death his name rode to the forefront of Western lore as films, television and countless books dissected his life. Historians have since rigorously analyzed, parsed and investigated all things Earpiana, a field with a

written by an “S.D. Allen” and given Cruickshanks by his father. Dated 1938, the letter expounded on an arrest by Wyatt in Dodge City and also opined on Earp in general. Cruickshanks’ contacts asked to see the original, but he demurred. Turner refer- enced the letter in his 1980 book The Earps Talk. Boyer, however, was skeptical and challenged its

long record of contentious debate. The late Earp biographer Lee Silva best stated the case: “If these guys put as much effort into researching Wyatt as they expended attacking each other, we would certainly know more about Wyatt’s life.” One document that has survived decades sans such scrutiny is the memoir of Adelia Earp Ed- wards, Wyatt’s younger sister. Adelia Douglas Earp was born in Pella, Iowa, on June 16, 1861. Wyatt was 13 when Nick and Virginia Earp wel- comed their third daughter and youngest child into the world (see related story about the family, P. 52). Adelia was their only daughter to survive child- hood. She lived nearly 80 years, dying in San Ber- nardino, Calif. on Jan. 16, 1941. Bookended by the advent of two major wars, her otherwise unremark-

authenticity. In his files (also part of my collection) Boyer noted that Cruickshanks admitted the hoax after questioning. Ironically, Boyer was later cen- sured regarding the veracity of his own work and eventually written off by many in the field. That’s another matter. But Boyer, who died in 2013, did accomplish significant research, and I discovered the “Cruickshanks file” while sifting through his immense collection. Boyer had never mentioned the Englishman to me, and I was curious. In one corner of the file a notation dismissed the Allen letter as “an unimportant fraud by an Earp nut.” Clearly Boyer had slight interest in Cruickshanks at the time, but when Adelia’s memoir later ap- peared, the Earp researcher had much to say. Boyer’s doubts aside, the Allen letter carved out

able life went unnoticed until some 30 years after


place for young Cruickshanks. After Turner gave

her passing. A young English researcher named


an airing, Allen Barra excerpted it in his popu-

David Cruickshanks changed all that. Adelia was to be more than a footnote.

lar 1998 book Inventing Wyatt Earp. Despite never producing the original, Cruickshanks had garnered

Cruickshanks’ first foray of record into Earpi- ana was a 1970 letter to then respected Earp writer and researcher Glenn G. Boyer. The letter (on file in my collection) relates Cruickshanks’ fervent interest to learn more about the Earps and their comings and goings. Soon thereafter he was on the trail of Earp author Alford E. Turner and another young researcher, Robert F. Palmquist (see sidebar, P. 39). What followed would change the landscape of the Earp field. Cruickshanks decided to be a player. He noti- fied Turner and others of a letter in his possession

measure of acceptance. Thus encouraged, the Englishman expanded his subject, claiming to have inherited a collection of sorts from his late uncle. He sent a trial balloon stateside—the first rendition of Adelia Earp’s mem- oir. Boyer again voiced skepticism. When Cruick- shanks followed up with a second iteration, Boyer ran out of patience and fired off a dismissive letter. Regardless, it was not long until the memoir, type- written and purportedly put on paper by a fellow named Conrad in the early 1930s, found its way to California’s Colton Public Library, a known repository of Earp family history.



No-Tell Estelle

Four out of Nine

Adelia’s daughter Estelle, posing here with husband Bill Miller, never made mention of a memoir.

Adelia’s’ children (from left) Estelle, Muryl, George and Florence pose for a 1958 photo.

Earl Chafin later produced an edited rendition of the memoir —not be the first or last time the self-published author, who died in 2003, claimed credit for Earp-related work. Chafin had put his name on what was essentially a reprint of the Colton Public Library manuscript. Lee Silva later tried to chase down the original at Colton but came up with nothing—the document had disappeared. As far as I know, no one to date has checked the background or veracity of the memoir, which reportedly

Adelia and husband left Kansas for San Bernardino, Calif., in May 1877, while Doc arrived in Dodge in 1878, according to biographers Gary Roberts and Karen Holliday Tanner. It’s doubtful she ever saw him, let alone knew him. Holliday was in Texas when Adelia left Kansas, and he didn’t exhibit any outward symptoms of tuberculosis until late 1878. At that point Doc, with “Big Nose Kate” in tow, headed to Las Vegas, New Mexico Territory, for the purported healing properties of its

chronicles the Earp brothers’ lives from youth to the time of the interview. Though lacking provenance, it took a place at the Earp table. As recently as 2013 Andrew Isenberg referenced the memoir in his book Wyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life.

hot springs (see related story, P. 58). Adelia and Bill are buried in San Bernardino’s Mountain View Cemetery, near her uncle James Earp. What makes Adelia Earp Edwards’ memoir even more suspect


that no one in the tightly knit Earp clan ever indicated Adelia

The time lines in the memoir raise serious doubts. Take, for example, a reference to Dodge City Mayor James H. “Dog” Kelley. In the account Adelia claims to have been impertinent to the drunken mayor when he stopped by the Earp place in Dodge,

had been interviewed. If she had, daughter Estelle likely would have known about it and conveyed the information to Boyer, who would have been all over it like a duck on a June bug. Cruickshanks remains an enigma. From 1970 to 2001 he had

and that her mother, Virginia, subsequently switched her. The


least six different addresses in England. An address he claimed

problem with the story is that Kelley was elected on April 2, 1877,


June 2001 appears on two letters (part of the David de Haas

and on April 9 Adelia married Bill Edwards in Rice County,

Collection), one of which he sent to the late Michael Hickey,

some 150 miles from Dodge City. How likely is it a betrothed


noted Earp publisher. The Englishman was threatening to

young woman got a licking from her mother a week before her wedding and arrived in time for the nuptials? The memoir also mentions an occasion in 1903 when Adelia served drinks to Wyatt, Virgil and James Earp in a room at the Los Angeles hotel owned by Albert Billicke, an

file suit after Hickey excerpted the memoir in his 2000 book The Death of Warren Baxter Earp: A Closer Look. Adelia’s memoir remains dubious to say the least. If the manuscript isn’t the real deal, one wonders what motivated Cruickshanks to produce it, and why so many

Earp friend from Tombstone. She said they had “a real fine time.” But Adelia’s dispensing of spirits is highly questionable, as by then she’d been married a quarter-century to a chronic alcoholic. Indeed, Earp genealogist Esther Colyn repeatedly said Adelia was “death on alcohol because of Bill,” an assertion confirmed by Adelia’s daughter Estelle Miller, the fourth of their nine children. Bill Ed- wards finally drank himself to death in 1921. The memoir also references Doc Holliday, whom Adelia described as “a very sick young man.” But




Treated Like a Dog

In her memoir Adelia claimed to have been impertinent to Dodge City Mayor Jim “Dog” Kelley.

Earp researchers and writers through the years have accepted it. That said, such occurrences are hardly rare in the field of Earpiana—another re- minder we should regard any new revelation with some degree of skepticism and employ all due diligence to determine its validity.

Scott Dyke, a newspaper columnist in southern Arizona, has pursued his dual passions for the Old West and all things Wyatt Earp since moving to the state from North Carolina in 2002.


Adelia’s ‘own story’ might be anything but— in any case it remains problematic By Bob Palmquist

In his essay “Historicism” English writer C.S. Lewis likened the research and writing of history to trying to assemble a puzzle with a number of pieces missing. The problem is exac- erbated when pieces one does have don’t belong in the puzzle. The uncritical use of dubious historical sources has marred many works of history and biography. Abraham Lincoln biographers, for example, had accepted as genuine a trove of letters supposedly written by Lincoln’s New Salem, Ill., sweetheart, Ann Rutledge, until historian Paul Angle exposed the “Rutledge Letters” as forgeries. More recently writer Clifford Irving produced a phony memoir of reclusive billion- aire Howard Hughes and seemingly was on his way to fame and fortune until Hughes himself denounced it as a hoax. Western American history has not been immune from this phenomenon. The perennially best-selling first biography of Wyatt Earp, Stuart Lake’s Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal (1931), largely reads as if dictated to Lake by the aging gambler and lawman. About a decade after its publication, however, literary critic and Belle Starr biographer Burton Rascoe asked Lake why his polished prose and the quotations reportedly supplied to Lake by Earp in interviews were so similar. Lake fessed up in a private letter to Rascoe that in fact Wyatt, being “delightfully laconic, or exasperatingly so,” had never dic- tated a word of Frontier Marshal. Despite Lake’s admission, which Rascoe mentioned in his Belle Starr book, subsequent Earp biographers continued to source Wyatt’s “recollections.” Similarly, Frank Waters, after interviewing Virgil Earp’s widow, Alvira Sullivan Earp, in the 1930s, turned out a manu- script titled “Tombstone Travesty” that largely attacked the Earp brothers. When Allie Earp repudiated the manuscript, Waters withheld publication until well after she was dead. His end product, The Earp Brothers of Tombstone (1960), di- verged even more sharply from the earlier version Allie had dictated, yet writers lauded the book as Allie’s “own story.” Which brings us to the curious document that apparently surfaced in the late 1970s as ostensible recollections of Adelia Earp Edwards, the Earp brothers’ little sister. At least two versions of the manuscript exist. The first was the typewritten document donated to California’s Colton Public Library and circulated among a number of Earp writers, in- cluding yours truly. The second was the version self-published by the prolific Earl Chafin in 1998 and again in 2000, the title page of which states the manuscript was “written in 1932–1934” and had been “transcribed and edited from the origi- nal.” If this was meant to suggest the editor had transcribed Adelia Earp Edwards’ “recollections” from an original handwritten document pro- duced by her, it was almost certainly untrue. The Colton Public Library edition, produced by English Earp researcher David Cruickshanks,

claimed to be an “as dictated to” manuscript; as far as I know, no handwritten version of the work has ever come to light. Cruickshanks was well known to a number of Western history researchers in the late ’70s. The Londoner reportedly was for a time a member of the English Corral of the West- erners [], whose members included the late Hickok biographer Joseph G. Rosa. In 1978 I was working closely with Glenn Boyer and Alford Turner, and Glenn put me in touch with Cruickshanks, who had con- tacted Boyer somewhat earlier. Dave and I exchanged sev- eral letters and transatlantic phone calls. Eventually Cruick- shanks sent me a copy of the “Wild West Remembrances” of Adelia Earp Edwards; he also sent copies to Boyer, Turner and Doc Holliday biographer Gary L. Roberts. All concerned inquired about the original, but no one received so much as a glimpse of that document, not even a photocopy. Cruickshanks’ version is a rambling set of random stories —Adelia’s purported recollections of her brothers and parents —with critical annotations by her alleged amanuensis. The latter shadowy figure (a would-be Stuart Lake?) supposedly scribbled complaints in the margins to the effect that “just as she’s getting interesting,” his subject would veer off in a new direction with an unrelated story. “Adelia’s stories” themselves contain a number of discrep- ancies. For instance, she relates that Wyatt and Morgan Earp were off buffalo hunting in 1871–72, producing enough in the way of marketable hides to enable the brothers to buy her new clothes. Subsequent research has shown that both Earp boys were indeed busy during that time period—not on the buffalo range, however, but in the red-light district of Peoria, Ill. In another passage Adelia suggests the Earps’ Tombstone trou- bles stemmed in part from a romance between James Earp’s stepdaughter, Hattie, and one of the McLaury boys. Diligent research has also debunked this tale, which derived from Waters’ 1960 screed The Earp Brothers. Cruickshanks’ Adelia asserts that gambler and gunman Luke Short “was in Dodge City in 1876,” and that she met him there during the Earp fam- ily’s brief sojourn in Dodge in 1876–77. This almost certainly derived from Lake’s Frontier Marshal, in which the author has Wyatt saying that Dodge City businesses included the Long Branch Saloon, “with Luke Short running the gambling.” Short likely did not arrive in Dodge that early. Adelia further claims Warren Earp never married, when in fact he did. Even this short list suggests historians should further scrutinize the “Wild West Remembrances” of Adelia Earp before citing it as genuine. A look at the original manuscript, if one exists, would help. More detailed information on the pur- ported transcriber of Adelia’s memoir would likewise help the process. Until some intrepid researcher tackles such tasks, the writer buys “Adelia’s stories” at his own peril.

Tucson attorney and historian Robert F. Palmquist has researched and written extensively about the Earps and other true Tombstone tales.


From hallowed Minnesota quarries Indians have long extracted the stone for their ceremonial pipe bowls By Bill Markley

German Fascination

In 1881 German artist Rudolf Daniel Ludwig Cronau (1855–1939) rendered The Great Rock Quarry That Is a Holy Place of the Red Race, colorized here by David Rambow.

Catlin and Catlinite

George Catlin painted the quarries and took samples of the sacred pipestone, later deemed a new rock form and named catlinite.


ll the things of the universe are joined to you who smoke the pipe—all send their voices to Wakan Tanka, the

Great Spirit. When you pray with this pipe, you pray for and with everything’ —The Sacred Pipe, by Black Elk, Oglala Lakota holy man

The ceremonial pipe is central to the religious practices and cultural traditions of many Indian tribes in the United States. It comprises two basic parts—a wooden stem, representing the male, and a stone bowl, representing the female. When joined together, the complementary parts represent the people as a whole. Among many tribes the origin of the most sacred pipe bowls are the quarries at Pipestone, Minn., in the southwest corner of the state. According to Sioux tradition the Great Spirit sent a flood to cleanse the Earth. The blood of those killed in the flood seeped into the ground and congealed into the present-day pipestone formation. For centuries various tribes have gathered at the site to quarry the soft red stone and fashion it into ceremonial pipe bowls. When passing around the pipe, people send up prayers with the smoke. “The pipestone quarries are a wellspring,” says Dave Ram- bow, former office manager of the Pipestone Indian Shrine Asso-




ciation []. “The elements of the pipe cover sky, earth, water and wind. The stone bowl is of the earth, the wood stem is of the earth, the smoke is of the earth but ascends into the sky, carrying the prayers to the Great Spirit.” Geologists believe the pipestone rock formation originated more than 1.6 billion years ago as ancient rivers and streams deposited layers of red clay atop sandstone. Over the millennia the watercourses deposited additional layers of sand atop the clay. The overlying sand ultimately metamorphosed into 10- to 15-foot thick layers of hard Sioux quartzite, and the resulting heat and pressure compressed the clay into a layer of soft pipe- stone up to 18 inches thick. Archaeological digs in the region have turned up signs of human activity dating back some 9,000 years, while evidence suggests people have used the southwest Minnesota pipestone quarries for perhaps 3,000 years. Soft enough to carve yet durable enough to permit extended use, pipestone became a


Path to Red Pipe

John “The Pathfinder” Frémont made his way to the site in 1838.

Leaping Rock

Frémont leaped this gap on July Fourth.

prized trade commodity throughout North Amer- ica. Members of such tribes as the Iowa, Oto, Dakota, Lakota, Mandan, Chippewa, Omaha, Ponca, Sauk and Fox traveled long distances to quarry the stone. Tradition held that pilgrims to the sacred quarries were to refrain from violence while on-site, even when encountering members of warring tribes—though some have challenged the veracity of that claim. Early French-Canadian fur traders, known as coureurs des bois (“runners of the woods”), heard of the quarries, and one of them, Pierre-Charles Le Sueur, is thought to have been the first European to visit the site, sometime in the late 1600s. Meri- wether Lewis and William Clark knew of the quar- ries but did not see them firsthand during their 1804–06 expedition. “The country watered by this last river [Pipestone Creek] is remarkable for fur- nishing a red stone, of which the savages make their most esteemed pipes,” Lewis wrote. “The Indians of many nations travel vast distances to obtain this stone, and it is asserted…that all na- tions are at peace with each other while in this district.” While wintering in the region in 1831– 32, New York–born explorer and fur trader Philan- der Prescott and party visited the quarries. They tried blasting through the quartzite with gun- powder, to little effect, and after a full day’s digging collected only enough pipestone to make 20 pipes. In 1832 artist George Catlin traveled up the Missouri River to record life among the various tribes and render por- traits of individual Indi- ans. Two of his subjects —a Mandan chief and a Ponca chief—told the artist of the “fountain of the red pipe,” gifted him with pipes and insisted the Sioux Indians had since claimed the quarries as their own. Obsessed with seeing the site firsthand, Catlin set out to visit it in 1836 with English travel companion the Rev. Rob- ert Wood. At the Traverse des Sioux river cross- ing, some 150 miles from the quarries, the travelers encountered a group of hostile Santee Dakotas who claimed to be the protectors of the pipestone. The Santees detained the pair, warning them “no white man has been to the red pipe, and none shall go.” After convincing the Sioux they weren’t government agents, Catlin and Wood pressed on, hiring French-Canadian trader Joseph La Fram- boise of the American Fur Co. to guide them the




Pipestone Falls

Winnewissa Falls is at top, while the stereograph above, taken by William Illingworth in 1870, shows Double Falls.

Pipestone National Monument [ pipe] lies just outside Pipestone, Minn., 25 miles north of I-90. The monument is open year-round, though hours vary by season. The ¾-mile Circle Trail leads through tallgrass prairie past active quarries to Winnewissa Falls and other cascades. High- lights include the ledge on which guide Joseph La Framboise carved the initials of 1838 Nicollet expedition members, as well as Leaping Rock, to which John Frémont made his Fourth of July leap that year with the American flag. Visitors are welcome to watch as quarriers labor to reach and remove the pipe- stone. The visitor center includes a museum and continually shows an award-winning 22-minute interpretive film, Pipestone: An Unbroken Legacy. From April to October on-site artisans demonstrate the art of carving and shaping pipes from the sacred stone. —B.M.


last 50 miles. On August 17 the trio reached the pipestone quarries. Catlin not only wrote about and painted the quarries but also took samples of the sacred pipestone. These he sent to Boston-based geologist Charles Thomas Jackson, who analyzed them and deemed them a new rock form that he named catlinite.

the quantity of “rude iron tools scattered about,” he questioned the antiquity of the site, though he was impressed by the amount of labor the Indians had expended in “throwing off” the quartzite to obtain the pipestone. Another notable visitor was photographer Wil- liam Illingworth (see sidebar, opposite), best known for later accompanying Lt. Col. George Arm- strong Custer’s 1874 Black Hills Expedition. In 1870 he was a partner in the Sioux City, Iowa,

photographic firm Gurnsey & Illingworth when he learned of the pipestone quarries and became fascinated. So on May 28 he packed his gear and supplies into a wagon, headed north more than 100 miles along the Big Sioux River to the falls of the Big Sioux and then on to the pipestone quarries and adjacent waterfalls. He took more than 20 stereo- scopic images of the quarries and falls, which looked even more dramatic in the heavy rains that drenched him every day but one during his trip. When Illingworth returned home on June 8, The Sioux City Journal reported he was “so much of a ‘sight’ that he was immediately photographed by Mr. Gurnsey.” Gurnsey’s photo of his intrepid partner has yet to surface. Nine days later the newspaper ran the following seemingly inconsequential notice: “Charles Bennett of Le Mars [Iowa] is in the city.” Bennett, perhaps inspired by Illingworth’s photo- graphs, also became obsessed with visiting the quarries, which he did three years later with wife and friends. Soon thereafter he hatched a plan to start a town near the site, convinced the waterfalls would draw tourists. In 1874 he and two friends regis- tered homestead claims in the area, and within a couple years he platted the townsite of Pipestone and was its primary booster. As Bennett anticipated, the town soon thrived as tourists flocked to the quarries and waterfalls. In 1881 German artist Rudolf Cronau visited the pipestone quarries, befriended such tribal leaders such as Struck-by- the-Ree, Crow King, Gall and Sitting Bull and rendered heroic portraits of Indians at the quarries. Through Cronau’s paint- ings and writings the German people came to share Americans’ fascination with the quarry and its Indian overseers.

Surveying the Stone

French geographer and Renaissance man Joseph Nicollet led the 1838

survey party to the site.

Though Catlin had assured the Sioux he was not a federal agent, his popular paintings and writ-

ings brought the pipestone quarries to the govern- ment’s attention. In 1838, two years after guiding the artist to the quarries, La Framboise led a 15-member Corps of Topographical Engineers survey team to the site. Funded by the War Department, the party was led by French geographer and Renaissance man Joseph Nicollet and included young Lieu- tenant John Frémont, the future “Pathfinder” of expeditions still farther west. The purpose of the Nicollet expedition was to map the region between the upper Mississippi and Missouri rivers. The party reached the pipestone quarries in late June and stayed nearly a week. Nicollet asked La Framboise to carve expedition members’ initials and the month and year into one of the rock ledges. While alone and busily doing so, the guide was startled by a hand on his shoulder and a voice asking what he was doing. Fortunately for La Framboise his interrogator was an old friend from the Wahpekute Dakota tribe. The friend and his party had been tailing the expedition for several days. Nicollet invited the Wahpekutes to camp alongside his men, and the Indians were delighted when the soldiers used gunpowder to blast through the upper layer of quartzite to get to the pipestone. On the Fourth of July a high-spirited Frémont clambered atop a rocky bluff with an American flag and then jumped a 5-foot gap to what is known today as Leaping Rock, where he unfurled and planted the banner. The expedition’s visit was peaceful, and it soon moved on to map the rest of the region. Awareness of the extraordinary pipestone site dramatically increased with the 1855 publication of Henry Wadsworth Long- fellow’s Song of Hiawatha. His popular epic poem directly refer- ences “the great Pipestone Quarry” and deifies “Gitche Manito, the mighty, He the Master of Life,” who stood atop the quarries and instructed the Indian nations to cease their warring, fashion the red stone into pipes and smoke to peace. Legend aside, various exploratory and scientific surveys to the quarries continued into the late 1800s. Under the increasing public scrutiny, the Indians of the region struggled to retain control of the site. In 1858 the Yanktons signed a treaty with the U.S. government that sent them westward 150 miles to a reservation in present-day South Dakota. Thanks to a provision insisted on by Chief Struck-by-the-Ree, however, the Yanktons retained rights to 648-acre tract of land encompassing the quar- ries, with a federal guarantee they would have free and unfettered use of the quarries. In the fall of 1866 Massachusetts-born geologist Ferdinand Hayden, who would soon launch his extensive surveys of the Rocky Mountain West, visited the site for a day. Remarking on

As the century wore on, it became more and more difficult for Indians to travel from their reservations to the quarries. In their absence white settlers encroached on the protected parcel to farm and graze animals and to quarry pipestone as souve- nirs for the tourists. In 1887 Captain J.W. Bean and 10 soldiers peaceably evicted the squatters and replaced the boundary markers. Regardless, through the turn of the century the Yank- tons fought a continual battle to retain control of the site, a number of them relocating there to quarry the stone and craft their pipes. In 1893, against their wishes and over their protests, the federal government built an Indian school and allowed a railroad right-of-way through the parcel. Government officials repeatedly tried to strip the Yanktons’ rights to the quarries, and the tribe responded by going to court. Finally, in 1929 the government bought the land from the Yanktons for $328,558.90,




though it granted them the right to continue quar- rying their sacred stone. In 1937 Congress established Pipestone National Monument, tasking the National Park Service with protecting and managing its natural resources, while authorizing members of all tribes to quarry pipestone for traditional purposes. Several fami- lies have carried on the pipe-making tradition, passing the skills from generation to generation. In 1946 the NPS began issuing permits to Indians interested in using the stone, though the number of permits remained low until interest in pipe- making rekindled in the 1960s. Today, on obtaining a permit, enrolled members of federally recognized tribes can remove the stone at no cost. The waiting list is long, however, as digging is limited to 56 active quarries. A stalwart individual or a few close family members typically work a quarry. Before starting work, depending on their traditions, the quarriers may purify them- selves through a sweat lodge ceremony or by burn- ing sage, or they may leave an offering or pray at the site. Regulations permit the use only of hand tools—sledgehammers, picks, chisels, wedges, shov- els, pry bars, etc. Power tools, heavy equipment and explosives are forbidden. Quarriers first have to remove any plant cover and soil. Then comes the intense labor of breaking through the thick layer of hard Sioux quartzite. Experienced quarriers ex- ploit natural cracks and fissures in the rock, driving wedges into them to bust out chunks of quartzite. Still, it may take crews months if not years to break through. On finally reaching the pipestone layer, quarriers must use caution to remove intact sheets of the soft stone, thus providing carvers as much workable material as possible. The pipestone is relatively easy to work using saws, knives, files, rasps and sandpaper. Traditional pipe makers used buffalo fat to draw out the rich red luster of the pipestone; today many use bees- wax. The finished product is truly a labor of love. Wahpeton Sioux Travis Erickson, a fourth-gener- ation quarrier and pipe artisan, has put 35 years of blood, sweat and tears into creating his exquisite pipestone bowls, some of which are on display at the Smithsonian Institution (see Art of the West, P. 24). “I can say there is a connection between me and the pipestone, between me and quarries,” Travis says of his life’s work. “It’s a spiritual connection.”

Bill Markley [] of Pierre, S.D., works for the South Dakota Department of Envi- ronment and Natural Resources and is a staff writer for Roundup, the membership journal of Western Writers of America [].

Sacred Stone, Fated Photographer

Englishman William Illingworth, whose stereoscopic images of Pipestone’s water- falls, cliffs and quarries fueled public in- terest in the region, was driven by a love for the scenic outdoors. Born in Leeds on

Sept. 20, 1842, Illingworth had settled with his family in St. Paul, Minn., by 1850. As a young man he moved first to Chicago and then Philadelphia to study photography, returning to St. Paul in 1863 to open a studio. By 1866 he was married with a young son and making a good living as a portrait photographer. But he was always looking for new opportunities. The public had become enthralled with stereoscopic views of scenery and daily life, so that year Illingworth partnered with George Bill to take 30 stereographs of Captain James Liberty Fisk’s fourth wagon train from St. Cloud, Minn., to the Montana Territory goldfields. Unable to afford to publish the views themselves, they sold the negatives to John Carbutt, who took credit for the photos. It was a portent for Illingworth, who had financial trouble most of his life, was widowed twice and divorced once. In the early 1870s, while taking stereoscopic views of the con- struction of the Northern Pacific Railroad, Illingworth may have met Lt. Col. George Custer and other members of the 7th Cavalry, which had been assigned to protect the surveyors and work crews. In 1874 Captain William Ludlow, chief engineer of the military Department of Dakota, signed on Illingworth as a teamster, but his real job was to take stereoscopic views of Custer’s Black Hills Expedition, and he made 70 wet plate negatives. “Our photog- rapher has obtained a complete set of magnificent stereoscopic views of Black Hills scenery,” Custer wrote wife Libbie from the field. Illingworth’s best-known photo is of Custer, scout Bloody Knife, orderly Private John Noonan and Ludlow posing with a grizzly bear Custer shot in the Black Hills. Illingworth, wrote St. Paul Daily Press reporter Fred Power, “has had the good for- tune not only to get some good pictures but also to prove himself to be one of the best shots on the expedition, which is considerable.” After the Black Hills Expedition, Illingworth continued to photograph scenic vistas (many of them in Minnesota), pioneers and Indians. After the divorce from his third wife in 1888, his business and health declined and his alcohol intake increased. On March 16, 1893, he ended his life with a shot to the head from his hunting rifle. Fortunately, much of his work survives. The South Dakota Historical Society [] acquired the Black Hills Expedition negatives, while the Minnesota Historical Society [] has a wide variety of his images. —B.M.

Time Lapse

Compare the William Illingworth stereograph in hand to the same spot at Pipestone more than 140 years later.


In 1896 feudist Johnse Hatfield pulled up stakes in West Virginia and rode to Washington in search of elusive peace By F. Keith Davis





Tip of the Hat

Johnson “Johnse” Hatfield bid his family farewell and headed northwest to find respite from the notorious feud.

Clan Patriarch

The formidable William Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield encouraged his son to seek a new identity in Washington.

ohnson “Johnse” Hatfield reined in his dapple-gray stallion to wonder at the immense sweep of the Great Plains. The year was 1896, and his first excursion outside Appalachia had brought him to the doorstep of the American frontier. His father, William Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield, had supplied him with the horse and a hardy pack mule several weeks before, but the westward journey had been rough. The wide open grasslands contrasted sharply with the forests and rugged mountains of Logan County, West Virginia. For someone used to generating attention, Johnse felt especially small and exposed on the prairie. Yet he knew there was no turning back—no return to the Hatfield-McCoy feud. Ignited by an 1878 trial over ownership of a hog and inflamed by the 1880 love affair of Johnse and Roseanna (family patriarch Randolph “Ran’l” Mc-




Coy’s daughter), the blood feud between the Hat- fields and McCoys—who lived along the Tug Fork tributary of the Big Sandy River, in West Virginia and Kentucky, respectively—had reached a boiling point. Relations between the families had festered through the years, and Johnse was directly involved in some of the most brutal episodes. In 1882 three McCoy boys—Tolbert, Pharmer and Randolph “Bud” McCoy Jr., all sons of Ran’l —murdered Ellison Hatfield, a brother of Devil Anse. In retaliation the Hatfields captured the trio, tied them to pawpaw trees on the Kentucky side of the Tug Fork and riddled them with bullets. Their alleged killers included Devil Anse, eldest sons Johnse and Cap, and Ellison “Cottontop” Mounts (Ellison Hatfield’s illegitimate son). Making matters worse, Johnse later participated in the extraordinarily brutal raid against Ran’l

McCoy’s Pike County, Ky., cabin on New Year’s Day 1888. “Crazy Jim” Vance (an uncle of Devil Anse), Cap Hatfield, Charlie Mitchell (alias Charlie Gillespie), Tom Mitchell and Ellison Mounts joined him. During the early morning assault the raiders torched the cabin and gunned down two of Ran’l’s grown children, Calvin and Alifair, in the front yard. Crazy Jim then knocked Ran’l’s wife, Sally, unconscious with the butt of his rifle. She survived but suffered considerable brain damage. It wasn’t anything that would soon be forgotten. Pike County authorities drafted indictments and offered sub- stantial rewards for the capture of those who participated in the atrocities, the highest bounties falling on the heads of Johnse, Cap and Devil Anse Hatfield. Bounty hunters, posses and Ken- tucky road detectives duly scoured the mountains of southern West Virginia for their quarry. By 1896 Johnse and his immediate kin—those not already dead or serving time in prison—had spent more than a dozen years eluding mounted raiders and such wily road detectives as William J. “Kentucky Bill” Napier. The Hatfields lived in perpetual anxiety, concerned bounty hunters would gun them down or authorities would spirit them across the river to face the gallows in Kentucky.

Though just 34 years old, Johnse was exhausted. He sought his father’s advice, and Devil Anse suggested he pull up stakes and head west to Washington state. Anse had kept tabs on Sam Vinson, a Logan County acquaintance who had fled to Washing- ton’s Spokane County after being accused of killing a McCoy. He’d heard Vinson had opened a tavern in the county seat of Spokane. If Johnse could track him down, he might be able to get established in the region under a new identity. As Johnse and his father had worked timber for decades, a new beginning in the forested Northwest made sense. By then Johnse’s wife, Nancy (Roseanna McCoy’s cousin and daughter of Union soldier Asa Harmon McCoy, whom Crazy Jim Vance had murdered after the war in 1865), had left him. Adding insult to injury, a year earlier she had married Franklin “Bad Frank” Phillips, a Pike County deputy, bounty hunter and archenemy of the Hatfield clan who days after the New Year’s 1888 raid had tracked down and killed Vance. Keen to avoid the fate of Crazy Jim, Johnse started packing for the long trip.

Johnse covered more than half the distance to Washington riding the horse Devil Anse had given him, sleeping on the

Hated Hatfield

Johnse participated in some of the most violent encounters with the McCoys.

ground beneath a wool blanket and surviving on hardtack, beans, jerky and coffee. Somewhere in Oklahoma Territory he sold his horse and mule and boarded a passenger train for the rest of the journey. Arriving in Spokane, he combed through the city till drawn to a saloon with a sign outside


Johnse strolled inside to query the barkeep and discovered Sam Vinson. Relieved at having found his father’s friend, young Hatfield downed several shots of bourbon as the pair chatted about their families, past events and news from back home. Sam was even able to point Johnse to a job at a nearby logging camp. After that brief encounter, however, Johnse Hatfield disappeared from the record for more than a year. Back in Pike County, Nancy McCoy Phillips, Johnse’s resentful ex-wife, heard a number of ru- mors about him, specifically that he had relocated to the Northwest and might be going by the name Jim Jacobs. She disclosed the information to her family, which promptly organized a heavily armed posse. On Ran’l’s dime, detectives Dan “Cunning” Cunningham, Alpheus “Alf” Burnett and Treve Gibson set out with several others for Washington. After making inquiries at several timber opera- tions en route, the band found themselves at a camp on the headwaters of the Snoqualmie River east of Seattle. There Cunningham gave the log-

ging crew a description of Johnse—a tall, blue-eyed, light-haired man from West Virginia, possibly going by the name of Jim Jacobs. According to Hat- field family history, Midgie Staunton McCarthy,

a young woman who happened to be in camp at

the time, overheard the posse talking to the timber

crew. Although history doesn’t record their relation- ship, Midgie knew Jacobs (Hatfield) and scribbled

a note to him, which she sent by a Siwash Indian.

The note directed the foreman of his logging crew, “Tell Jim to look out!” Sometime after receiving the warning, Johnse

spotted seven resolute searchers riding mules along

a ridge near his camp. He immediately flung down

his ax and fled into the woods. A fellow crewman,

a local Indian, led him to a nearby river bordered

by an especially dense thicket. Johnse crawled deep into the underbrush, pushing painfully past the clawing sticks and sharp thorns, and watched from his vantage point as the trackers scoured the rugged terrain around him. According to accounts from Coleman A. Hat- field, Cap Hatfield’s eldest son, as the detectives closed on Johnse’s hiding place, a gaggle of honk-

Hatfield Family Portrait

The clan remained largely intact, if not exactly all smiles, at the time of this 1888 group photo.

ing Canada geese settled around the thicket, providing a dis- traction. Expecting the lawmen to find him anyway, the fugitive was thankful when they moved on. Once certain the detectives had left, Johnse dove into the river and swam to the far bank. Afraid to return to the timber camp, he decided to foot it to Seattle. From there he caught a steamer to British Columbia, where he again landed a job cutting timber. Conditions were difficult, as the trees were much larger than those in Washington, with massive exposed root systems. To get close enough to fell the trees, work crews had to raise tall scaffolds beside the trunks. Years later Coleman A. Hatfield recorded that during the manhunt for Johnse in Washington, Sam Vinson devised a plan to fool the pursuers. The Spokane barkeep thought that if Ran’l McCoy and the bounty hunters believed Johnse was dead, they would end their search. Sam first contacted Johnse to obtain a lock of his blond hair, then sent it to his oblivious parents, with a scrawled condolence letter explaining how Johnse had been killed in a terrible accident while felling trees. When Devil Anse and wife Levicy received the tuft of hair and read the note, they were distraught, and word quickly spread along the Tug Fork that their eldest son had died in the Pacific Northwest. Soon afterward Cap Hatfield, then working outside Gunnison City, Colo., received a letter from his wife, Nan, advising that his brother Johnse had apparently perished in a freak logging accident. In 1898 Cap decided to return home to West Virginia. Still unwilling to accept Johnse’s death, however, he chose first to search for answers in Washington. There Cap asked around the camps after any loggers hailing from southern Appalachia. He eventually heard of one light-haired West Virginian working in British Columbia. Venturing north, he soon found his older brother. Johnse was equally thrilled to see Cap, and they spent several days together at the camp. Cap ultimately persuaded Johnse to return with him to Logan County. The brothers reasoned that running was no longer the answer, as Ran’l, his family and supporters seemed willing to go to the ends of the earth to capture or kill a Hatfield. That being the case, Johnse figured he stood a better chance back home under the watchful eyes of his father and kinfolk. Still, to boost the odds one or the other of them would evade capture, Johnse and Cap took separate routes home. For nearly two years the Hatfield patriarch and matriarch had believed their eldest son to be dead in the Far West. But in early 1898 a well-dressed 36-year-old strolled up to the front gate of their Main Island Creek home. Devil Anse and Levicy couldn’t believe their eyes. With tears flowing, they raced to the gate to embrace Johnse.

After returning home to West Virginia, Johnse still had his share of trouble. On June 18, 1898, a gang of men led by Hum- phrey E. “Doc” Ellis, a business rival of the Hatfields, waited in ambush along the railroad tracks outside Gilbert. Knowing Johnse’s daily routine, they waylaid him as he passed and hauled

him to the Kentucky side of the Tug Fork. Pike County authori- ties promptly arrested Johnse, tried him for murder and ultimately sentenced him to life in the Kentucky state prison. In 1904, having served just four years, he secured a pardon after rescuing the visiting lieutenant governor from attack by a fellow inmate. Regardless, his time in prison had sobered the once cocky Johnse Hatfield. According to Coleman A. Hatfield, he eventu- ally married Rebecca Browning, a kind, levelheaded woman who provided the stability he had lacked in his unrestrained youth. The couple reportedly named their first daughter, Midgie, in honor of Midgie Staunton McCarthy, the Washington acquain- tance who had warned Johnse and saved his life out West. (Other Hatfield biographers dispute Coleman’s accounts, claiming that Johnse and Rebecca’s daughter Midgie had been born years earlier, in 1892, and that by the time Johnse returned from the Pacific Northwest he was already married to Roxie Browning, Rebecca’s cousin.) Johnse’s brother Cap served honorably as a lawman and, after hitting the books and passing the bar, opened a law firm in the city of Logan with son Coleman. Cap’s stepson, Joe Glenn, also studied the law and eventually joined the practice, as did Cap’s granddaughter Aileen Hatfield. As the era of the infamous Hatfield and McCoy feud passed and the gunfire ceased, the remaining family members found relative contentment and peace. Even patriarch Devil Anse Hatfield mellowed with the years. On Sept. 23, 1911, Uncle Dyke Garrett, a former Confederate chaplain, Appalachian circuit-riding preacher and longtime friend, baptized “the ol’ Devil” in the icy waters of Main Island Creek. Grace had come to the Tug Fork. Anse would live another 10 years, dying of pneumonia at age 81 in his Island Creek home on Jan. 6, 1921. Johnse died of a heart attack at age 60 in his cabin at Wharncliffe, W.Va., on April 19, 1922. Brother Cap lived until the summer of 1930, dying at age 66 of a brain tumor at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

F. Keith Davis, founder and CEO of Woodland Press [], in Chapmanville, W.Va., appeared in the companion documentary to the History channel’s award-winning 2012 miniseries Hatfields & McCoys, starring Kevin Costner as William Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield. Davis is the grandson of William “Cap” Hatfield. Recommended for further reading: The Feuding Hatfields & McCoys, co-authored by Davis and Dr. Coleman C. Hatfield, great-grandson of “Devil Anse” Hatfield.

Sons of a Gun

Nicholas Porter Earp and second wife Virginia had eight children, including the five boys below: (from left) Wyatt, Virgil, Morgan, Warren and James.






Nicholas Earp, peripatetic patriarch of the family that included lawmen Wyatt and Virgil, put down roots in southern California By Nicholas R. Cataldo

T he legend of the Earp

brothers lives on in books, film and even a 1950s television series. But while writers largely focus on the Earps’ escapades in Kansas and Ari- zona Territory, usually placing Wyatt front and center, less well known is that the family spent much of its time in southern California’s San Bernar- dino County. And while the boys garner most of the attention, it was their colorful father, Nicholas Porter Earp, who invested his sons with their thirst for adventure, willingness to con- front adversaries and ability to make a buck. Described by family members as alternately religious and profane and prone to regarding his world in black-and-white terms, Nick Earp knew only two kinds of people—friends and enemies. His friends could do no wrong, his enemies nothing right. The third of Walter and Martha Ann Early Earp’s nine children, Nick was born in Lincoln County, N.C., on Sept. 6, 1813. His father was a school- teacher, justice of the peace and Meth- odist Episcopal preacher. Soon after

Nick’s birth Walter moved his fam- ily to Hartford, Ky. At age 23 Nick courted Abigail Storm, and the two married on Dec. 22, 1836. Abigail gave birth to their son, Newton Jas- per, on Oct. 7, 1837. Daughter Mariah Ann followed on Feb. 12, 1839, but died that December. Abigail pre- deceased her daughter, falling ill and dying at age 26 on Oct. 8, 1839. Nick didn’t remain a widower long, marrying 19-year-old Virginia Ann Cooksey (1821—1893) on July 30, 1840. Their marriage lasted nearly 53 years, and they had eight children:

James Cooksey (1841–1926), Virgil Walter (1843–1905), Martha Eliza- beth (1845–56), Wyatt Berry Stapp (1848–1929), Morgan Seth (1851–82), Warren Baxter (sometimes written as Baxter Warren, 1855–1900), Virginia Ann (1858–1861) and Adelia Douglas (1861–1941). The sons (aka the “Fight- ing Earps”) were, in this order, better known to Western history: Wyatt, Virgil, Morgan, Warren and James. Nick, who stood about 5-foot-8 with brown hair and blue eyes, was


Golden Union

Virginia and Nick pose in California in 1890 on their 50th wedding anniversary.

a jack-of-all-trades. As a young man he farmed in Kentucky,

captained a riverboat in Iowa and became an expert cooper. In 1847 he served as a cavalry sergeant in the Mexican War, and in 1863 he was appointed an assistant provost marshal for recruitment in the Union Army. He also dabbled in politics and at times served as a lawman. In late 1845 Nick and Virginia took their budding family to Monmouth, Ill. Two years later, as the war with Mexico heated up, he joined neighbor Captain W.B. Stapp’s company of Illinois Mounted Volunteers as a sergeant. Nick mustered in at Quincy,

Ill., on Aug. 6, 1847, and was discharged that Christmas Eve for medical reasons. His pension papers indicate that a kick from

a mule had inflicted a hernia, leaving him with a lifelong dis-

ability. Apparently, Earp had no hard feelings. On the birth of

his fourth son on March 19, 1848, Earp named the boy after his commander—Wyatt Berry Stapp.




In return for his Mexican War service, Earp received a 160- acre federal land grant and in 1850 moved his family to the farm- ing town of Pella, Iowa. In later years Nick told the San Bernar- dino Society of California Pioneers that in 1851 he left his grow- ing family in Iowa and joined the California Gold Rush in hopes of bringing home a measure of the riches. But after months of slogging out a living as co-manager of a trading post near the goldfields at Hangtown (present-day Placerville), Earp was more than ready to return to Iowa. Detouring through southern Cali- fornia on the return trip, he passed through the beautiful San Bernardino Valley and vowed to return someday and settle down.

In 1856 Nick moved his family back to Monmouth, and the next year he served as constable at the Warren County Court- house. Mostly though, he and his boys worked the family farm until the Earps again packed their bags and returned to Pella in

1859. In the early 1860s he served as mar- shal of Pella, handling mostly administra- tive chores. Nick, whose family roots lay in the divided border state of Maryland, sided with the North during the Civil War and recruited for the Union Army. Like their father, sons James, Newton and Virgil all saw Yankee service, while the underage Wyatt, Morgan and Warren stayed on the farm. James took a bullet to the left shoul- der at the 1861 Battle of Fredricktown, Mo. (not to be confused with Fredericksburg, Va.), and spent long months in recovery. He was finally discharged in March 1863. By then Nick was preparing for yet another move, this time to his Shangri-la, the San Bernardino Valley. In the spring of 1864 he led a California–bound wagon train out of Pella. Accompanying him were wife Virginia, sons James, Wyatt, Morgan and Warren and toddler daughter Adelia, as well as three neighboring families—the Rousseaus, Curtises and Hamiltons. According to Jesse W. Curtis, a great- grandson of one of the party, the train set out with 30 people on May 12, 1864. En route three children were born to the other families. Sarah Jane Rousseau, who kept a diary of the trip, recalled that after the group made camp that first night, seven more wagons straggled in late. By the time the train reached its destination, it com- prised about a dozen wagons. In her account of the long journey Rousseau wrote lyrically about all she saw and experienced—broad rivers, birds, the tallgrass prairie, thunderstorms, Indian encounters, sickness among the party and the trip mileage. She also shed light on the sometimes-abrasive personality of their tough, no-nonsense wagon master. Take, for example, her July 7–8 entry, written while the party rested at Fort Laramie:

We have to keep close watch day and night over the stock. Mr. Earp went out to see about the guards (military guards) and found they had got up a dance. And he told them they must quit their dancing and be on duty. One of the soldiers told him to mind his own business and or- dered him off. It made him [Nick] awful mad, and he was for killing. He used very profane language; he could hardly be appeased. But he cooled down after awhile, and all was quiet.

As the wagons rolled on in the still summer heat, party members grew testy, and dissension spread within the ranks. Of course, Earp’s cantankerous demeanor didn’t help. On July 30, as the train ap- proached Fort Bridger (in what would become Wyoming), Rousseau again had reason to mention Nick:

Earp got angry with the whole train be- cause they passed him. He took it as an in- sult, talked pretty hard to all. Some thought he had taken a little too much liquor. He used very profane language and told the whole train that he would give up the cap- taincy unless they would adhere to the rules he gave. After being detained an hour or more very unpleasantly, we rolled on.

Her November 24 entry, describing the aftermath of a fight between Warren and another boy in the train, affirmed the truth of the expression “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”:

This evening Mr. Earp had another rippet with Warren [Earp’s youngest son] for fighting with Jimmy Hatten. And then he commenced about all the children. Used very profane language and swore if the children’s parents did not correct their children, he would whip every last one of them. He still shows out more and more every day what kind of man he is.

Warren’s first documented altercation was a preview of the Earp temperament that would plague Nick’s youngest son to his last days.

The Earps’ seven-month saga finally ended when they arrived in San Bernar- dino on Dec. 20, 1864, and set up camp near present-day Meadowbrook Park, a spot then just east of town. Within days Nick had rented a farm on the Carpenter Ranch, in what is now the city of Red- lands. In an April 2, 1865, letter to one- time Pella neighbor and friend James Copla, Nick touted his family’s new home in a update rife with misspellings:

Oh don’t I wish you and anay others of my friends was here to help me to eat apple peaches and graps this fall and drink wine. …This is the finest climate in the world

altho I dont know that I shall stay here and I shall not fore I did not start from home expecting to stop hear when we got heare we are all so near run through that we would not go any longer.… We can say what we please heare and none dare molest or make us afraid I have enjoyed my self here cince i have bin hear and seen more peace and freedom than I did the last three years I stayed in Iowa heare people that are Seces [favor- ing secession from the Union] make no boan in saying so they hollow for Jef Davis when they pleas.

The Earps soon moved a few miles west

along Cottonwood Row (in present-day Loma Linda). At the time the nearby city

of San Bernardino was flush with saloons,

gambling halls and a flourishing red-light district. It proved Nick Earp’s kind of town, and he managed to find ample ex-

cuses to visit the intersection of 3rd and

D streets—nicknamed “Whiskey Point,”

as it hosted saloons on all four corners. Championing the cause of the common

man against what he called the hypocrisy

of big business and politicians, Nick be-

came a popular figure and was elected grand jury foreman in 1867. The Earp patriarch soon learned his

sons had inherited their father’s inveter- ate wanderlust. Historian Glenn G. Boyer once interviewed Estelle Miller, daughter

of Wyatt’s sister Adelia. Miller told Boyer

that shortly after arriving in San Bernardi- no, young Wyatt made it known he wasn’t cut out to be a farmer. After slipping away for a few days “vacation,” the teenager dutifully returned home only to receive a whipping from his crusty old man, who then booted him off the family farm. The Earp brothers also inherited their father’s combative temperament. All were good fighters and had little difficulty fac- ing down any trouble that came their way. Adelia Earp Edwards noted in her un- published—and possibly spurious—mem- oir (see related story, P. 34), purportedly written in 1932–34, that when it came to temper, second youngest brother Morgan took no backseat to his brothers:

Morgan was in a fight with a buffalo hunter one day, and it would have come to shoot- ing if [oldest brother] Newton had not


Home Base

This 1865 photo captures downtown San Bernardino. Nick had moved his family to the namesake county the previous December.

gotten between them and talked them into shaking hands. Morgan had a very terrible temper, while Newton was always very even in his ways.

Into the late 1860s Nick ran the farm with increasingly less help from his boys. James and Morgan went off to Nevada and Montana Territory, while Virgil and Wyatt worked as teamsters with a Salt Lake–bound wagon train and later for the Union Pacific Railroad. By the fall of 1868 a restless Nick decided to leave the Golden State and return with Virginia to the Midwest. James, Virgil and Wyatt initially went with them but, being chips off the old block, didn’t stick around long. Soon, with brother Morgan in tow, the older boys sought money and adventure by engaging in such pursuits as buffalo hunting, stage driving and law enforce- ment. Along the way they met and be- friended such colorful characters as Doc Holliday, Bat Masterson and Luke Short. For the time being youngest brother War- ren continued to live with his parents. In 1876 Nick sold property and again pointed his wagon west, traveling with Virginia, Warren, Adelia and Bill Edwards (Adelia’s future husband). In early 1876 the party pulled into Dodge City, Kan., where Wyatt was working as deputy marshal. Ac- cording to Allie Earp’s unpublished 1934 memoir, they settled down for the next several months in Peace (present-day Ster- ling), Kan., where the eldest Earp brother, Newton, lived with wife Jennie. There Vir- gil and Allie rented a house for the winter. Soon after Adelia’s wedding to Bill Edwards, on April 9, 1877, Nick again shook the dust off his feet and led an




11-wagon train to California. Among the party that set out on May 8 were Virgin- ia Earp, Warren Earp, Adelia and Bill Edwards, Allie and Virgil Earp, and New- ton and Jennie Earp. James and Morgan remained in Dodge with Wyatt. By late 1877 the Earp caravan—minus Virgil and Allie, who had dropped out at Prescott, Arizona Territory, and Newton and Jennie, who had grown homesick and returned to Kansas—were back in San Bernardino. Nick had trouble find- ing work. He bid for a janitor’s position at the courthouse but lost out to another applicant. He and Virginia moved on to the small farming community of Temes- cal (a few miles southeast of present-day Corona), where he farmed and ran a gro- cery for the next couple of years. Adelia and Bill lived with them, as did tempera- mental 22-year-old Warren, who cooled his heels a few more years before striking out in the footsteps of his older brothers. In the meantime, Nick, likely missing the excitement of town life, moved the family to Colton, a few miles southwest of San Bernardino. In the fall of 1880 he be- came embroiled in a heated discussion— perhaps of a political nature—at one of his new hangouts. The October 14 San Ber- nardino Daily Times described the affray:

This afternoon as Mr. Earp and several other gentlemen were conversing in Mr. Ritler’s store, Mr. Baily came in and made some abusive remarks, interrupt- ing the conversation. Mr. Ritler asked the crowd to leave his store, whereupon Mr. Baily attacked him and left some bruises on his face. No arrests had been made at the hour of going to press.

Later that fall Nick resurrected an old saloon he renamed the Gem, though by then Colton had more churches than bars. He advertised his joint in the Novem- ber 27 Colton Semi-Tropic:

GEM SALOON, N.P. EARP, PROPRI- ETOR, Keeps on hand the best Whiskey, Wines, Brandies, Gin, Rum, Porter, Beer and Cigars. Fancy Cocktails, Tom and Jerry, at all times whenever called for. …Call on N.P. Earp and test his superb Tom and Jerry. He is always on hand and ready to wait on customers.

The following year came the main event, the reason the Earp name still reso- nates today—the so-called Gunfight at the O.K. Corral on Oct. 26, 1881, in Tomb- stone, Arizona Territory. In that show- down, which claimed the lives of two Mc- Laury brothers and one Clanton brother, Virgil, Morgan and the Earps’ friend Doc Holliday suffered wounds, while Wyatt emerged unscathed. Back in San Bernar- dino, Nick Earp must have been pleased his law-enforcing boys had won their fight with the Cowboys, although there is no known public record of his reaction. Nick got into his own scrape the next month, as reported in the San Bernardino Daily Index on Nov. 27, 1881:

A difficulty occurred in front of the Farmers Exchange Bank this afternoon between Byron Waters and a gentleman named Earp. Earp had been quarreling with a man named Ralph, and Mr. Wa- ters interfering, he received a torrent of abuse from the old gentleman, which he resented in a lively manner. Earp was

led off somewhat damaged about the eye and badly lamed by falling.

Just what set off Nick is unknown, but perhaps the debate arose over what his boys had done in Tombstone. Worse news soon followed out of Ari- zona Territory. On December 28 shotgun- wielding ambushers shattered Virgil’s left arm during a revenge-motivated assassi- nation attempt. And on March 18, 1882, the Cowboys struck again, gunning down Morgan from ambush as he shot billiards with brother Wyatt. In the wake of Morgan’s death Virgil took a westbound train to his parents’ home in Colton to recuperate. Nick was elected justice of the peace in 1884, and Virgil, despite his crippled arm, was elect- ed village constable in 1886. The next year, when Colton incorporated, voters chose Virgil as their first city marshal, while Nick served as city recorder. In 1888 San Bernardino County wit- nessed the formation of an organization that would have a profound impact on Nick Earp’s life. That January aging Forty- Niners George W. Suttenfield, Benjamin B. Harris and Sidney P. Waite placed a notice in The Colton Chronicle asking any- one interested in the formation of a society to preserve the history of the county to be present at the courthouse on the 21st of that month. Thirty former frontiersmen gathered that day as charter members of what became known as the San Bernar- dino Society of California Pioneers. Under its stringent requirements, prospective members had to have arrived in Califor- nia before Dec. 31, 1850, and settled in San Bernardino County before April 26, 1853 —the date of the county’s incorporation. As in other fraternal organizations, then and now, members of the so-called Pioneer Society had their share of con- flicts. For the most part, however, their meetings revolved around square dances, picnics and holiday celebrations, during which members swapped yarns about the old times. Nick Earp was an eager and active participant. That said, Old Nick could still be feisty. By 1898 the 85-year-old claimed the dis- tinction of being the Pioneer Society’s oldest member and toted a prestigious ceremonial cane at each meeting. On one

occasion a younger member angered the short-tempered Earp, and Nick reported- ly broke the cane in two over the man’s head. But Earp did enjoy lighter moments with fellow pioneers, such as the time he engaged in a singing duel with Captain Nelson G. Gill for the prize of a panful of baked beans. The two sang a medley of traditional songs, including “Erin go Bragh,” “My Heart Is Light,” “Hunters of Kentucky,” “Excelsior” and “The Indi- an’s Lament.” Each also sang an original, humorous composition. The committee declared the contest a draw and had the duelists split the beans. Such happy interludes came fewer and farther between for Nick, especially as he lost more family members. His be- loved Virginia died on Jan. 14, 1893. Nine months later Nick married widow Annie Elizabeth Cadd Alexander, 30 years his junior. But the pair’s initial infatuation fizzled, they were unable to bridge the generation gap, and their union proved a marriage in name only. Nick often left the San Bernardino ranch Annie had inherited to stay with daughter Adelia in Yucaipa. In December 1897 Nick severely injured his left shoulder when thrown from a horse,

May-December Pair

Nick and third wife Annie, who is standing in front of her seated husband, attend a Pioneer Society picnic soon after marrying in 1893. They didn’t last.

and thereafter his health steadily declined. It didn’t help when he lost two more sons. First, on July 6, 1900, youngest son Warren, who was prone to heavy drinking, angry outbursts and bouts of violence, was killed in a saloon brawl in Willcox, Arizona Terri- tory. Then, on Oct. 19, 1905, Virgil died of pneumonia in Goldfield, Nev. Nick ulti- mately entered a veterans home in Saw- telle, near Los Angeles, where he died at age 93 on Feb. 12, 1907. He had outlived six of his 10 children. Storied family patri- arch Nicholas Porter Earp is buried apart from his wives, sons and daughters at the Los Angeles National Cemetery.

Nick Cataldo writes a local history column for California’s San Bernardino County Sun and is the author of Images of America: San Bernardino California (2002) and The Earp Clan: The Southern California Years (2006), which are recommended for further read- ing along with Wyatt Earp, A Biography of the Legend, Vol. I: The Cowtown Years (2002), by Lee Silva; Virgil Earp: Western Peace Officer (1994), by Don Chaput; and Wyatt Earp: Facts, Vol. V, By Wagon Train From Iowa to California—1864 (1997), by Glenn G. Boyer.


Deadly Dentist

Doc Holliday takes aim in this drawing by artist Robert “Shoofly” Shufelt.



The fiery relationship between Doc Holliday and ‘Big Nose Kate’ is the stuff of legend—but what of it is true? By Gary L. Roberts

Later Kate

Doc was dead and “Big Nose Kate” was about 40 when she sat for this portrait.

In the mythology of the Western gunfighter they made the perfect couple—the “deadly dentist” and the “nastiest whore in Kansas.” Fiery, intense, flamboyant and violent, they were the stuff of melodrama. The world of the gunfighter seemed largely a bachelors’ club, with wives and girlfriends screened behind the proprieties of Victorianism, even in the Wild West. But Doc Holliday and Kate Elder were out there for all to see. She was an undeniable part of who he was.

S he is remembered as “Big Nose Kate,” though

the documentary record offers little evidence she was called by that sobriquet, other than in an 1896 article Wyatt Earp wrote for the San Francisco Examiner. There was no love lost between Wyatt and Kate, but he did describe her as “handsome, in a way,” and attributed the moniker to her reputation as a “strong, bold character,” not her physical appearance. Later references to her as Big Nose Kate turn up mostly in reminiscences written by men who harbored contempt for her, Doc and the Earps. Few women faced more accusations of perversion and obscene behavior than Kate—all in the form of supposed recollections, many of them secondhand or even thirdhand. Writer Joe Chisholm called her a “badman’s girl who wasn’t afraid of badmen.” That’s a fair characterization of a woman who knew more than one badman in her time and survived them all. But while she is remembered as Doc’s irascible consort, her own story remained largely unknown.

Born in Pest, Hungary, on Nov. 7, 1850, Mary Katherine Horony was one of Michael and Catherine (née Boldizsar) Horony’s seven children. Her father also had four children from a first marriage. In 1860 the family immigrated to the United States, soon settling in Davenport, Iowa, where her father worked as a doctor. In the spring of 1865, however, both parents died, leaving their brood in dire financial straits. By the time lawyers had sorted out the family estate in 1867, Mary Katherine had decamped “for parts unknown.” Kate later claimed to have stowed away on a riverboat, and at least one account suggests she assumed the surname of the boat’s captain—Fisher. Kate Fisher was also the name of a nationally acclaimed actress of the period, noted for her portrayal of Lord Byron’s romantic hero Mazeppa, for which she scandalously rode across the stage in pink tights on horseback. It might have been a tempting alias for a runaway. By 1870 she was living in St. Louis as “Kate Fischer,” her profession recorded as “whore.” Her fate was scarcely surprising. Both St. Louis and Kansas City had become booming gateways to the West. Theaters, brothels, gambling emporiums, dance halls and saloons were the primary employers interested in young, unattached single women. The big cities also served as recruiting grounds for such professions in towns farther west. By 1872 Kate was working at a theater and saloon in the Fifth Ward. It was there she met John Henry Holliday. Young Holliday was a doctoral graduate fresh from the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery and still months shy of his 21st birthday. Unable to practice dentistry until he was 21, he traveled to St. Louis, where classmate A. Jameson Fuches Jr. offered him work in his prac- tice on Fourth Street, near the establishment where Kate worked.




John Henry was a handsome young gentleman with a soft Georgia drawl and impeccable manners. Kate was nine months older than him and certainly more worldly, but she was still young enough to see him as a way out. She must have been crushed, then, when in July 1872 Dr. Holliday bid her farewell and returned to Georgia to claim his inheritance and start his own practice in Atlanta. Kate continued to work as a prostitute in Missouri and Kansas. Wyatt Earp referred to her as Kate Fisher in his writings, which suggests he met her well before she showed up in Wichita in 1874 as “Kate Elder.” There is no record of when and how they met, but by the time Holliday returned to Georgia, Wyatt was already a veteran of the night trades. By 1872 he and brother Morgan (each with a woman in tow from a brothel in Peoria, Ill.) and their older brother James (newly married to Nellie Bartlett “Bessie” Catchim, who hailed from a similar background) were in Missouri. In 1873 James and Bessie landed in Ellsworth, Kan., while “hell was in session” in the crowded cow town, and Wyatt and Morgan may well have been there too. By the time James and Bessie moved to Wichita that September, Kate had taken up with a Kansas saloonkeeper named J.S. Elder. While Elder ran

John henry was a hand- some young gentleman. Kate was nine months older than him and certainly more worldly, but she was still young enough to see him as a way out


his place in Great Bend, farther up the Ar- kansas River from Wichita, Kate worked in town for Bessie Earp, though she used Elder’s name when arrested for prostitution in June 1874. She was arrested again in August, this time giving her name as “Kate Earb” [sic ], and promptly quit Wichita for Great Bend and Elder. As late as November 1874, however, she was still receiving mail in Wichita as “Kate Fisher.” The multiple aliases make for a con- fusing paper trail. Soon after arriving in Great Bend, Kate was arrested for assault and battery and fined $10 and costs. But a greater problem for her liveli- hood was that a new reform mayor was deter- mined to shut down the houses of ill fame. When Elder left Great Bend, parting ways with Kate, she took up with two enterprising high rollers named Tom Sherman and “Colonel” Charlie Norton. Coincidentally, Norton was a product of Peoria and during the Civil War had served in the same regiment as James Earp. Sherman was a hard case and a killer. He had served as an Army scout and was one of the first arrivals in Dodge City, then a hellhole for hide hunters and Santa Fe Railroad workers. He acquired a nasty reputation. On March 13, 1873, he shot a man outside his dance hall and, on finding him still alive, reportedly told by- standers, “I’d better shoot him again, hadn’t I, boys?” And he did at point blank. As the reformers gained momentum in Great Bend, Sherman returned to Dodge City, Nor- ton followed, and Kate worked at Sherman’s dance hall. In the fall of 1876 Sherman, Norton and others established a Texas Panhandle camp called Hidetown (soon renamed Sweetwater), on the Rath Trail near Fort Elliott, to service the needs of buffalo hunters and soldiers. Kate was working there for Sherman in January 1876 when Bat Masterson gunned down Corporal Melvin King in a shootout that also claimed the life of Mollie Brennan, another soiled dove Kate had known in Ellsworth (see “Bat Master- son and the Sweetwater Shootout,” by Gary Roberts, in the October 2000 Wild West ). For a time both Sherman and Norton fol- lowed seasonal opportunities between Dodge and Sweetwater (present-day Mobeetie). The end came for Norton in July 1877 when a Texas lynch mob strung him up for a killing. Mean- while, Sherman earned enough infamy in the Lone Star State to be memorialized by cowboy Frank Maynard in a ballad titled “The Dying Cowboy,” whose first line reads, “As I rode down by Tom Sherman’s barroom.” Maynard’s



They were hardly the Romeo and Juliet of the Wild West, but the dysfunctional romance between Doc and Kate has been a major sub- plot for the majority of O.K. Corral/Wyatt Earp films since the 1931 publication of Stuart N. Lake’s Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal. Three films based on Lake’s book—Frontier Marshal (1939), My Darling Clementine (1946) and Powder River (1953)—feature the fabricated love triangle between Doc, his saloon girl paramour and his old flame from the East as a central plotline. Many of the films depicting Doc and Kate change the characters’ names, including In Old Arizona (1928), Dawn at Socorro (1954) and Warlock (1959), while several of the O.K. Corral films, including Law and Order (1932) and Hour of the Gun (1967), simply omit Kate. When she has appeared, some of Holly- wood’s finest actresses have played her, including Binnie Barnes, Linda Darnell, Corinne Calvet, Piper Laurie, Jo Van Fleet, Dorothy Malone, Faye Dunaway, Joanna Pacula and Isabella Rossellini. That’s quite a cinematic output (see more images on P. 63) for a tortured soul who was but a bit player on history’s stage. —Paul Andrew Hutton

Joanna & Val

Pacula played Kate and Kilmer was Doc in the popular 1993 Western Tombstone.


Dodge Days

In 1878 Kate and Doc settled in at the Dodge House and shared life in Dodge City, Kan.

ballad, minus the reference to Sherman, was eventually revised into the classic cowboy song “The Streets of Laredo.” By August 1877 Sherman and Kate had moved on to the rough cow town of Fort Griffin, where the “services” they provided were in demand. A few weeks later a young man getting around on a cane checked into the Occidental Hotel and was soon a regular at saloons like Smith’s, John Shannsey’s Beehive and, of course, Lottie Deno’s Gus. Everyone seemed to know the quiet- spoken gambler, still recovering from a recent gunshot wound. It was not his first visit to “The Flat.” He had lived in Fort Griffin in 1875 until falling afoul of the law during a crackdown on gambling. Rumor had it he had also killed a black soldier there. In any case he had left town on the run. He had tried his luck in Denver, Cheyenne and Deadwood, but by the end of 1876 he had returned to Texas. Most regarded him as a sporting man unafraid of trouble. They called him Doc Holliday.

Kate must have been shocked when she met the gambler and recognized her John Henry, the gentleman dentist she had met in St. Louis five years earlier. The details of their reunion have been lost, but he certainly couldn’t have hidden the per- sistent cough that revealed his consumption. Doc doesn’t appear to have told her much about his reasons for coming to Texas or his adventures since, but Kate wasted no time in attaching her- self to him. That fall, with the cattle season over, they headed to Eagle Pass, where Doc wintered gambling at Old Blue’s saloon and performing dental work for the Mexican army across the Rio Grande. They moved on to Brackettville and Jacksboro before returning to Fort Griffin. There Doc met Wyatt Earp. Kate was not happy to see Earp. Wyatt later told a dramatic story about how Doc killed a man named Ed Bailey in a card game, and Kate rescued him from an irate mob by setting fire to a shed behind the hotel and spiriting away Doc in the confusion. Kate called the story a “fairy tale,” but she and Doc did quit Fort Griffin in a hurry and were settled in at the Dodge House by the time Wyatt returned to Dodge City in May 1878. Doc lived quietly in Dodge, dividing his time between gam- bling and dentistry. He kept out of trouble, though he did enjoy the Dodge City sporting crowd. Earp, Masterson, Luke Short, William H. Harris, Joshua J. Webb, Chalk Beeson and others were congenial companions. Earp insisted Doc saved his life that summer in a scrape with cowboys that sealed their friendship.




Doc left Dodge after being falsely accused of burglarizing Robert Wright’s store in December 1878. That may have provided the impetus, but when he and Kate left Dodge that winter, the greater threat was his worsening consumption. Doc almost died on the wagon trip over the mountains to Las Vegas, New Mexico Territory. By spring he had recovered sufficiently at the Montezuma hot springs near town to return alone to Dodge, answering Bat Masterson’s call for gun handlers to aid the Santa Fe Railroad in its fight with the Denver & Rio Grande over passage rights through Colorado’s Royal Gorge. When the courts temporarily resolved the matter, Doc returned to New Mexico Territory. Apparently, the escapade strained his relationship with Kate, however, as in 1881 a Las Vegas edi- tor reported she had skipped to Santa Fe. Doc went to gamble in the end-of-track town of Otero. Aiding Masterson again, he was on hand when the forces of the Santa Fe and the Rio Grande clashed in Pueblo, Colo., on June 1l, 1879. Joshua Webb had a tooth knocked out in the melee, and Doc sent him back to Dodge sporting a new gold crown. Returning to Las Vegas, Doc opened a saloon with Jordan Webb, got into a few minor scrapes and killed a hard case named Mike Gordon. Kate also eventually returned. But Las Vegas had developed a bad reputation for violence and crime. Doc dis- posed of his saloon, and by August he was preparing to leave when Wyatt Earp and “wife” Mattie and James Earp and family arrived. The Earps were headed west to Prescott, Arizona Terri- tory, to pick up Virgil and family and then on to the silver mining camp of Tombstone. Wyatt encouraged Doc to join them. Kate was furious. She wanted nothing to do with the Earps. Doc and Kate traveled with them as far as Prescott but remained behind when the Earps left for Tombstone. Still, the relationship between Doc and Kate had been strained to the point they again parted ways. She headed for Globe, while he returned to Las Vegas to settle his affairs there. He stayed long enough to ex- change shots with Charles Wright, the man who had accused him of robbing cousin Bob Wright’s store in Dodge. Doc then headed to Prescott for a summer of gambling. But Wyatt was persistent, and Doc registered to vote in Tombstone on Sept. 17, 1880. Kate’s history for this period is lost. She later claimed to have opened a hotel in Globe while trying to patch up things with Doc. By March 1881 she had reunited with Doc in Tombstone when someone tried to rob the Benson stage. Two men were killed in the botched affair, and early in July an intoxicated Kate fingered Doc as one of the bandits. She was the one who ended up in trouble with the law, however, as Marshal Virgil Earp arrested her for being drunk and disorderly. Unleashing a string of epithets at the Earps, she returned to Globe. Kate made another attempt at reconciliation with Doc in September 1881, and she was with him in Tombstone in time for the October 1881 Fremont Street shootout that pitted the Earps and Holliday against the Clantons and McLaurys. Doc’s loyalty to Wyatt had proven greater than his commitment to Kate (or so she believed), and she left in the midst of the hearing presided over by Justice Wells Spicer. Kate’s own recollections are the only evidence she ever saw Doc again.



Three Great Kates

Clockwise from top left:

Doc (Kirk Douglas) confronts Kate (Jo Van Fleet) and John Ringo (John Ireland) in 1957’s Gunfight at the O.K. Corral; a French poster pitches the 1946 John Ford classic My Darling Clementine; Isabella Rossellini and Dennis Quaid were marvelous as Kate and Doc in 1994’s Wyatt Earp.

World-Weary Pair

Faye Dunaway and Stacy Keach had a forgettable ride as Kate and Doc in the 1971 box-office flop Doc.


Horony Sisters

That might be Kate at left, but this circa 1867 portrait more likely depicts her younger sisters.

Doc spent most of the rest of his life—only six years—in Colo- rado. Kate may have tried to see him or find information about him in Colton, Calif. (home to Wyatt Earp’s parents and other family members who had left Tombstone). In June 1882 she passed through Tombstone while traveling by stage from Colton to Deming, New Mexico Territory. No documentation supports her later claim Doc called her to his side as he lay dying in Glenwood Springs, Colo., in 1887. The only person mentioned in his obituary as a confidante was first cousin Mattie (by then Sister Mary Melanie), back in Georgia. On April 2, 1888, San Francisco’s Daily Alta California listed letters waiting at the post office for “M.K. Horony” and “Mrs. J. Holliday.” Some time later Kate made her way to Colorado for a reunion with her brothers and their families. It was there she met George Cummings, a blacksmith and miner. Giving her name as “Mary Horoney,” she married Cummings in Aspen, Colo., on March 2, 1890. George was enterprising and popular, but he had a drinking problem and was reportedly abusive. In 1896 the couple moved to Bisbee, Arizona Territory, but their marriage ultimately ended in divorce. Mary Cummings worked at the Cochise Hotel in Cochise, Arizona Territory, until June 1900 when she took a job as a housekeeper for a crusty old miner named John Jessie “Jack” Howard. Mary had finally found someone as ornery as she was, and the pair remained together for three decades. Howard died on Jan. 3, 1930. In his will he left Mary the homestead and his mining properties. She stayed on the property until able to sell the shack she had shared with Howard. On Sept. 1, 1931, based on her relationship with Howard and after months of effort, she was admitted to the Arizona Pioneers’ Home in Prescott. The ghosts of the past found her there. Earlier that year Hough- ton Mifflin had published Stuart N. Lake’s Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal, which was less than kind to “Big Nose Kate.” Another colorful Arizonan, Anton Mazzanovich, soldier, author, actor and architect, wrote a series of scathing articles about Lake’s




book for Bisbee’s Brewery Gulch Gazette. He also wrote to Mary Katharine Cummings in Prescott, enclosing a copy of Frontier Marshal with his letter. He remembered her from Globe, Maz- zanovich explained, and he wanted to tell her side of the story. She consented. Her story was fascinating. It dripped with contempt for Wyatt Earp, blaming him for destroying her relationship with Doc, and sought to rehabilitate her own reputation. While Kate’s sense of humor peeked through, her outrage over Frontier Marshal dominated the account. Her deceptions were many, but she did provide evidence, some of it slight but important, to establish that Mrs. Cummings was indeed Kate. Cummings had hoped Mazzanovich would publish her story in book form, but he died in 1934 with the project unfinished. Joe Chisholm, then editor of the Brewery Gulch Gazette, tried to resur- rect the project. He courted Cummings, calling her “a sweet-faced little woman” with “keen intellect and droll humor,” but she grew suspicious of him. Chisholm borrowed heavily from Mazzanovich in an unpublished manuscript titled “Tombstone’s Tale: The Truth of Helldorado,” but in 1937 he too died before he could publish it. Cummings had already expressed frustration with other writers “trying to get the information for nothing.” In 1935 she enlisted the aid of a Mrs. W.J. Martin to find someone to tell her story. Martin introduced her to Arthur W. Bork, a graduate student at the University of Arizona. He spent three years working with Cummings but lacked the experience to create what she wanted. Kate eventually gave up. In a letter to a niece in 1940 she wrote, “There are quite a few that want me to write up things, but they don’t want to give me any thing, [so] I don’t write.” Cummings’ recollections are perplexing, but they are im- portant. They constitute the only record of Doc and Kate’s life together. Yet strangely she communicated no real sense of affec- tion for Doc, only a desire to portray him as “a good man” in order to prove herself a good woman. The story stands in sharp contrast to the romantic portrait she drew of John Ringo, whom she said gave her $50 to enable her to leave Tombstone after the street fight. He was “noble,” she said. “Every time I think of him, my eyes fill with tears.” But she did admit to Chisholm, “I loved Doc, thought the world of him; and he always was kind to me, until he got mixed up with the Earps.” Doc and Kate, who died in 1940 at age 89, lived dark lives. For a time they needed each other—seemingly she more than he. Doc could be genteel, even likable, though he grew cynical and embittered as life slipped away in his mid-30s. He had forced himself not to rely on others. Kate was of a coarser cut, born of a life spent in the company of hard men on the roughest edges of frontier society. She needed her John Henry to be stronger and forever blamed Wyatt Earp for Doc’s weakness.

Georgia author Gary L. Roberts has written widely on the subject of frontier violence and is the author of Doc Holliday: The Life and Legend (2006). Also recommended for further reading is Anne E. Collier’s article “Big Nose Kate and Mary Katherine Cummings:

Same Person, Different Lives,” published in the October 2012 Journal of the Wild West History Association []. Roberts also cites the research of Roger Myers, Chris Penn and Kenneth Vail.

Gallipoli, or the Berlin Wall

Search EVENTS at More than 5,000 articles available online



Skyline Arch, Arches National Park, Utah,

from the national parks series by artist Anthony J. Rudisill (30 by 40 inches, acrylic on board). See PP. 68–69.





In our new section we showcase present-day Western standouts in art, film, fashion and more. This issue features a photo shoot with actress Francesca Eastwood (star of Outlaws & Angels), the works of Anthony J. Rudisill, Michael Cuneo and Bill Churchill, and a few stylish surprises.


The Giant Sequoias, Sequoia National Park, California

Canvassing the National Parks

The U.S. National Park Service [] marks its centennial this year, and painter Anthony J. Rudisill has gotten into the spirit of the occasion as much as anyone with his national parks series of acrylics, featured here. Prompted by his continuing fasci- nation with America’s national parks, he has de- voted the last six of his 82 years to depicting more than 38 landscapes and seascapes that capture the beauty of these natural preserves. “I hope the series will inspire an appreciation of the parks among a new generation of Americans,” says the Philadelphia native, who as a boy was in- spired by ornithologist and painter John James Audubon to render field sketches of birds. As an adult Rudisill crisscrossed the United States to see firsthand America’s natural treasures. That, in turn, inspired him to create his national park series. In 2014 the Noyes Museum of Art [noyesmuseum. org], in Oceanville, N.J., featured a selection of his 30-by-40 acrylic on board paintings. Rudisill’s art- work has also shown in many other notable public spaces, including the Smithsonian’s National Mu- seum of Natural History [], in Washington, D.C. To learn more about the artist and to see his entire national parks series of acrylics, visit Rudisill’s website [].




Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, California

Spring Thaw, Cascade Creek, Yosemite National Park, California

Shafer Canyon Overlook, Canyonlands National Park, Utah



Western Trends

Fashion pays homage to the West this season in such looks as this leather jacket and belt from Old Gringo [oldgringo], Sass & Bide’s shiver dress [$490, sassandbide. com], Charles Albert earrings [] and Debi Lynn necklace [].


Michael Cuneo Belts a Home Run

These handcrafted belts by Michael Cuneo are all repurposed or recycled using vintage buckles and coins he sources from around the world. Some of the buckles are sterling silver, some nickel silver, still others copper or brass. Cuneo then takes authentic vintage coins like Indian head pennies, buffalo nickels, sterling silver flying eagle quarters and half-dollars

and meticulously shapes them into domes. “I also often use vintage coins from outside the United States for their size and tonal qualities,” Cuneo says. “My belts symbolize the unique, rugged ‘Wild West’ lifestyle of those who forge their own trail. The true spirit of the West is bold, brave and courageous. I want my belts to reflect this fearless quality.” Visit Michael Cuneo Belts online [$85–$350,].



That Other


It’s fair to say that stunning, blue-eyed, 22-year-old Francesca Eastwood was born to act. Her dad is film legend Clint Eastwood, while her mom is actress Frances Fisher, who most recently starred in the ABC drama Resur- rection. Francesca’s latest film, Outlaws and Angels, stars Chad Michael Murray, Luke Wilson and Eastwood as Florence Tilden. The plot unfolds as outlaws on the lam invade the home of an unsuspecting, seemingly innocent frontier family to hide out for the night. An unexpected game of cat and mouse ensues, leading to seduction, role reversal and, ulti- mately, bloody revenge. Eastwood’s manic and chilling role is both twisted and unforget- table. Now available on DVD and Blu-ray.





The Fallen at Little Big Horn

Turquoise Saddle Horn, available at the Autry Museum of the American West store []

Carving out a History Niche

Bill Churchill’s works of wooden art average two to three weeks to complete. He primarily uses mahogany, walnut and poplar, selected for their color. Unless he’s attending an art show or visiting a gallery, you’ll find him working away in his home studio. The humble, self-taught artist explains his process: “It has taken years of trial and error to finally achieve the various results you see on my work—and I’m still learning. As you can see from my website, each carving requires a slightly different approach or technique, and I’m always looking for new ways.” To see and learn more, visit Churchill’s website [].

Well Armed

Cash Parrott (yes, that’s his real name) grew up on a ranch in Acton, California. Last year Cash and father Shawn took second in the nation in the U.S. Team Roping Championships. The duo also handcraft these granite-hard bracelets ($250–$450) out of rasp and buff them to a brilliant finish. See more online



This original Walla Walla stagecoach first carried passengers in the 1850s.



v isitors to Fort Walla Walla Park, in the southeast

corner of Washington state, experience a double

treat—a chance to wander through 15 frontier-

era buildings from the region as well as a mu-

seum with five exhibit halls featuring interactive attractions. It’s scarcely enough room to relate the region’s rich history. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark passed through the region in 1806, and trappers and traders followed on their heels. In 1818 the North West Co. built a fur trading post named Fort Nez Perces in the lush valley. Three years later the North West Co. was subsumed by its bitter rival the Hudson’s Bay Co. (HBC), which acquired the post and renamed it Fort Walla Walla, as it lay near the mouth of the Walla Walla River.




By the 1840s travelers and settlers were pouring into the Walla Walla Valley, prompting clashes with local Indian tribes. When raiders burned the fort to the ground in 1855, HBC abandoned the post. That site now lies beneath the Columbia River. The

Army built a stopgap post the following year before establishing

a more permanent Fort Walla Walla in fall 1858. Occupying a

1-square-mile parcel of land, the fort included officers’ quarters,

soldiers’ barracks, a blockhouse, mess hall, hospital, stables and

a cemetery. The garrison engaged in several clashes with area

tribes in 1858 during the Yakima War and again two decades later during the Nez Perce War. Soldiers from Fort Walla Walla con- tinued to patrol the valley until the Army closed the post in 1910.

The Veterans Administration took over the property in 1921.


Today the site is preserved as a 208-acre park, encompassing recreational facilities, the Jonathan M. Wainright Memorial VA Medical Center and the Fort Walla Walla Museum [] and ad- joining Pioneer Village. The 15 period structures and the historic post cemetery are on the National Register of Historic Places and offer an intriguing look at a bygone era. Greeting museumgoers at the entrance to the main hall is an 1860s stagecoach built by the famed Abbott, Downing Co. of Concord, N.H. This light “mud coach” featured an early iteration of present- day seat belts—leather straps designed to hold passengers in their seats and absorb the bumps and dips of crude frontier roads. If frontier fashion has a greater hold on you, stroll along the Heri- tage Fashion Runway, showcasing a variety of women’s dresses, bonnets, shoes, gloves and a range of period accessories. Also within the main hall is the Military & Indian People Gallery. Military exhibits include a dio- rama of Lewis and Clark’s 1806 passage through the Walla Walla Valley, as well as uniforms, weap- ons and personal items in the circa 1910 officers’ parlor. Of particular note are a late 18th-century infantry officer’s American eagle pommel sword and a 38-star (1877–90) garrison flag. The Lloyd Family Indian Artifact Collection centers on more than 250 items presented as gifts over the years to pioneer Albert G. Lloyd and family by area Palouse Indians. Featured are woven baskets and other containers, beadwork and moccasins. Adjoining exhibit halls showcase one of the nation’s largest collections of horse-era agricul- tural equipment, notably a pre-combine stationary threshing machine, a 1919 Harris wheat combine with replica 33-mule team, an 1896 Russell steam engine, a cook wagon and a cigar-shaped water wagon. Various other wagons, buggies and sleighs round out the displays. Paths lead from the exhibit halls to the Pioneer Village, where markers delineate the boundaries of the old fort. Across the entrance road lies the post cemetery. The oldest gravesite, dated Feb. 3, 1859, holds the remains of Private Jacob Leonard, Com- pany B, 9th Infantry. You’ll also find three promi- nent monuments. One honors the 34 members of Walla Walla’s 1st Cavalry killed during the bloody June 17, 1877, battle with Nez Perces at White Bird Canyon in Idaho Territory, while a second honors 1st Cavalrymen killed three weeks later near Cotton- wood. The nearby Cannon Monument, centered on two World War I–era French 155s, honor the role Walla Walla soldiers played in the war. In 1917 local men volunteered for the 1st Battalion, Washing- ton Field Artillery and mustered at Fort Walla Walla.


After advanced training at Fort Bragg, N.C., the sol- diers shipped out for France on Christmas Eve 1917. The village comprises period structures relo- cated here from the surrounding region. Among several pioneer homes are an 1877 cabin, complete with an outhouse, and another cabin that housed the family of Walla Walla scout and interpreter Illa- Poot-Mii, who assisted the Army during an 1855 treaty council. Displays include such common household items as butter churns, washtubs, even

a spinning wheel and loom. Businesses include a harness shop and black- smith shop, each showcasing tools of the trade. The Union School and Toner School look ready for classes, while the Union also boasts an 1871 organ originally shipped to Washington via Cape

Horn. Visitors can also tour a carriage house, a jail,

a railroad depot and a doctor’s office. With so much to see, touch, explore and do, it’s best to plan a full day’s excursion. Call 509- 525-7703 for more information.

Top: The Lloyd Family

Indian Artifact Collection includes this beaded satchel. Above: This detailed exhibit features

a replica 33-mule team

harnessed to a 1919 Harris wheat combine.

Left: This early 20th- century photograph

of an Indian elder and

a young boy is inscribed

on the back “Pasco Sam and Tony Lloyd Nesfilum.”


Molson State Bank, in business from 1912 to 1924, operated out of this well-preserved building; its interior is at right. The windmill at lower right overlooks Molson, while the hills behind it are in Canada.



I n 1900, looking to cash in on the north-central Washington gold rush, John William Molson of Montreal’s prominent brewing and banking family financed from afar the develop- ment of a town in his name on the Okanogan prairie, just

2 miles south of the Canadian border. Within months fanciful ads from promoter George Meacham drew 300 settlers, and Molson soon boasted an assay office, a bank, a post office, a newspaper, a general store, a drugstore, a dental office, a law firm, a livery stable, a blacksmith shop, three saloons and a 34-room hotel. When Molson’s hills failed to yield the anticipated ore, the population dropped into the low double digits, and in 1901 the




town’s absentee namesake pulled his backing and closed the bank. Within a few years rumors of a coming railroad brought an influx of wheat- and oat-raising homesteaders, and the 1906 completion of a Great Northern Railway line resurrected Molson as a key stopover on a route connecting Spokane, Wash., and Princeton, B.C. As Molson swelled to its peak population of 700, livery stable owner John H. McDonald staked a 160-acre parcel, which curi- ously included most of the townsite. Only when McDonald served eviction notices in April 1909 did indignant residents and pro- prietors discover Meacham had failed to acquire title to the land.


While some dug in and sued McDonald, others simply picked up and moved a half-mile north, putting down new, titled roots closer to the tracks. Although the two settlements officially remained a single town, Old and New Molson (as they were known) engaged in lively, sometimes heated com- petition. In 1914 citizens erected a three-story school- house between the settlements, giving rise to yet another unofficial community known as Central Molson. In 1920 the rivalry peaked when New Molson residents had one of their own appointed postmaster and then literally hauled the post office building north to New Molson. By the time the feuding parties resolved the land dispute in the late 1920s, Old Molson sat largely abandoned. With the fading of the mines, the arrival of the Depression and the closure of the rail line in 1935, New and Central Molson also went into decline. The post office closed in 1967, and the school two years later. Distinctions between the settlements are long gone among the 21 hardy residents who make their home in Molson. The farming community lies 15 miles east of Oroville, the last town on U.S. High-

way 97 this side of the Canadian border. Visitors can take in two historic collections [molsonmuseums. org]. The Old Molson Ghost Town comprises sev- eral preserved buildings from Molson’s heyday, including Molson State Bank, homesteaders’ cabins, a law office, a shingle mill and the assay office from the nearby Poland China Mine. The separate 1914 schoolhouse showcases period mining and farm- ing tools and household artifacts. Both are open roughly Memorial Day through Labor Day. Call 509-485-3292 or email for more information.


Above: This early 20th-century law office was relocated to Old Molson for preservation. Below left: The remains of a 1904 shingle mill.








T he .69-caliber muzzleloading musket, which spanned the Model 1795 through the U.S. Model 1842, was one of the longest-serving firearms issued to the U.S. military. Based on the French Charleville musket

used by the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, it was America’s first armory-produced standard-issue shoulder arm. Originally a flintlock design made at the Springfield and Harpers Ferry armories, it saw successive improvements and was manufactured by both the government and private contractors for more than four decades. On the heels of the Model 1795 came the U.S. Model 1808, Model 1812, Model 1816 and variants and, finally, the Model 1842, in which the percussion cap ignition system replaced the flintlock. Between 1812 and the late 1830s the government sold older .69-caliber variants as surplus, and thousands made their way West. Members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition used military muskets of this caliber, as did participants in the 1832 Black Hawk War in the Midwest and Seminole wars in Florida. The single-shot smoothbore .69 used a patched round ball backed by an average load of between 50 and 70 grains of black




powder. It could not only swallow a 375-grain round ball but also handle a devastating combination load of buckshot and ball dubbed a “buck and ball.” More akin to a small-gauge shot- gun than a rifle, the smoothbore could handle almost any type of small game load, including bird shot. The initial flintlock ignition system required daily care and maintenance and fre- quent inspection. The jaws of its hammer, or cock, held a sharp- edged, well-knapped piece of flint that, when the trigger was pulled, struck the upright frizzen and sent a shower of sparks into the pan, igniting the priming powder and setting off the main charge through an adjoining touchhole. The flintlock system was reliable in ideal conditions, but the introduction of any moisture could foul up the works—hence the expression, “Keep your powder dry.” In the late 1820s the government began to sell off surplus 1795s and 1808s to make room for the Model 1816 and variants, which remained in production at both Springfield and Harpers Ferry through about 1839. To make up for production short- falls, private contractors such as M.T. Wickham of Philadelphia and J. Pomeroy of Pittsfield, Mass., also produced the 1816.


Mountain men Jim Bridger and Kit Carson, among

others, were known to have carried surplus .69-cal- iber muskets as backups to their superior civilian- made rifles. The big-bore military muskets regained

a measure of popularity once converted to the

far more practical percussion cap system. Shooters

no longer had to tote a supply of flints or a second powder horn containing lighter grade priming pow- der for the pan. All that was required were balls, patches and caps. The final military-issue .69-caliber musket was the Model 1842. Between 1844 and ’55 the Spring- field and Harpers Ferry armories produced some 275,000 Model 1842s. Several thousand were issued

in the closing months of the 1846–48 Mexican War.

By the outbreak of the Civil War the Army had begun replacing the .69 smoothbore with the far more accurate .58-caliber Model 1855 Springfield rifled musket. Regardless, the Confederacy fielded more than 15,000 smoothbores seized from federal armories in the South, and the Union also put them to extensive use. Trappers, hunters and homesteaders continued to make good use of the powerful .69-caliber smooth- bores, often shortening the unwieldy 42-inch barrels of the Model 1816 and Model 1842 muskets, as




A converted example of

the original Springfield .69-caliber musket.

This Model 1816/22

Springfield musket was manufactured in 1833.

evinced by surviving examples. Western gun deal- ers offered surplus smoothbores at affordable prices well into the 1870s. Plains Indians also made use of the muskets, often cutting the barrels down to 18 inches and shortening the stocks so as to conceal the weapons beneath tepee blankets. The abundance of natural flint allowed them to keep flintlock variants in firing order. They also devised means of keeping their percussion versions shooting. In the absence of newly manufactured caps, they filled used caps with a paste made from soaked match heads. And if round balls or conical projectiles were unavailable, they crafted improvised loads from bits of leather or bone or scrounged for used bullets after a skirmish. Necessity, after all…


Close-up of a Model 1842 Springfield— last of the military- issue .69-caliber smoothbore muskets.




The Men Who Wear the Star: The Story of the Texas Rangers




(2000, by Charles M. Robinson III):

A highly informa-

tive account of the Rangers, focusing on the history of those belonging to the world’s most famous body of lawmen. It covers their origin as frontier warriors, battling Mexican bandits and Co-

manche war parties,


their exploits



lawmen. The Men Who Wear the Star

is a fast-paced

account of such

legendary Rangers

as Captain Jack

Hays, Captain

Leander McNelly, Major John B. Jones, Captain John Hughes and a host

of other courageous

Texas adventurers.


Sam Houston (2002, by James L. Haley):

Houston has intrigued many biographers, but with massive research Haley has produced the finest account to date of the 19th-century Texas icon. The author’s award-winning book explores Houston’s extraordinary career as a statesman and soldier, as well as the controversies surrounding the larger-than-life leader. No one has written about his complex personality with

such understanding.

Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans (1968, by T.R. Fehrenbach):

Any Texan would be drawn to this sweep- ing, adventurous history of the Lone Star State. Fehrenbach chronicles Texas as a Spanish and Mexican colony, as an independent nation, as part of the Confedera- cy, as a violent frontier state and as a cattle and oil kingdom.

Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall

of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History (2010, by S.C. Gwynne): Never has the cruel conflict be- tween Texans and the Comanches been better portrayed. As the sub- title indicates, Gwynne centers his book on the last and greatest Comanche chief, Qua- nah Parker, as well as his mother, Cynthia Ann Parker. Empire of the Summer Moon was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and recipient of both the Texas Book Award and Oklahoma Book Award.

The Searchers (1954, by Alan LeMay): If you’re too big to play cowboys and Indians, pull on your boots and hat and settle down with this capti- vating book for an evening on the Texas frontier. LeMay based his novel on a real-life raid and subsequent pursuit of captives. Director John Ford adapted the novel for the epic film featur- ing his greatest star, John Wayne. So after the good read, watch one of the best West- erns ever lensed.

Sam Houston:

American Statesman, Soldier and Pioneer

(2016, on DVD, 171 minutes): A magnifi- cent documentary produced and co-directed by Denton Florian. Exhaustive research revealed such treasures as an image of Eliza Allen Houston, Sam’s first wife, who de- stroyed all possible personal correspondence and portraits and requested her grave be unmarked. Fortunately for us, her resting place in a family cemetery is marked, while relatives held on to certain artifacts, including the small portrait of a pretty young Eliza.


Lonesome Dove (1989, on DVD, 384 min- utes on two discs, Rhi Entertainment):

This sprawling mini- series, based on Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel,

features high drama and rich characteriza- tions. The cast is led by Robert Duvall and native Texan Tommy Lee Jones as retired Texas Rangers who decide to drive cattle to Montana Territory,

with epic adventures, quirky characters and poignant romance along the way.

Giant (1956, on DVD, 201 minutes on two discs, Warner Home Video): Long known as “The National Movie of Texas,” the ranching epic was filmed in the Lone Star State with an all-star cast featur- ing Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean. Novelist Edna Ferber loosely based Reata on the King Ranch and wild- catter character Jett Rink after oil tycoon Glenn McCarthy. Dean, who died in an auto wreck before the movie’s release, earned an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Rink.

The Alamo (2004, on DVD, 137 min- utes, Buena Vista Home Entertainment). Far more accurate than John Wayne’s 1960 epic, this remake also depicted the spec- tacular victory at San Jacinto that avenged the Alamo and won Texas its indepen- dence. Aside from


Billy Bob Thornton’s poignant portrayal of Davy Crockett, the cast is mediocre. Dennis Quaid, though a fine actor, fails to capture the larger- than-life persona of General Sam Houston.

The Unforgiven (