True West 2015-12 - PDF Free Download (2024)


Tracking Renegade Apaches

A Secret 1895 Plan

The Real War Wagon and the Fight to Save its Treasure Surviving a Stagecoach Robbery! Why the Last Indian War was not Wounded Knee




MOUNTAIN MAN Survival Never Came Easy

The Revenant & 9 Other Mountain Man Movies You Have to See

By Jerome A. Greene

$5.99 •

A good-versus-evil western set in a rough-and-tumble mining town in the 1880’s.

Based on a true incident early in the summer of 1880, this gripping novel takes you on a Wild West adventure that pits a group of ruthless former Confederates, fueled by greed and revenge, against a colorful cast of characters. About the author: Lee Martin is the published author of forty-two short stories, as well as seventeen Western novels with Avalon Books and one with Five Star. Also a writer of screenplays, Martin grew up on cattle ranches and has been writing mostly Westerns since the third grade. Martin’s book, Shadow on the Mesa, was the basis for Martin’s screenplay for the highly rated movie with Kevin Sorbo, which was one of the most watched in Hallmark Movie Channel history. It won the Bronze Wrangler for Best Television Feature Film, awarded by the National Heritage & Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and wherever books are sold! ISBN-13:978-1516941162 Learn more at

American Legacy Firearms Presents

The Annie Oakley Rifle

Continue your Legacy... During the 19th century, there weren’t many women who were considered superstars, especially in show business. However, one woman was able to change all that. Her name was Phoebe Ann Moses, but most people knew her as Annie Oakley. American Legacy Firearms is proud to present the Annie Oakley Rifle! Built on an 1873 Winchester with a walnut stock, the engravings on the metal and wood depict important people and events throughout Annie’s incredible life. This 24 karat gold-plated firearm is fully-functional, and it comes in 3 calibers: .45 Colt, .357 Mag/.38 Spcl, and .44-40 Win. The Annie Oakley Rifle will be a treasured heirloom for your children, your grandchildren, and future generations! A beautiful handmade French-fitted carrying case is available. Only 100 numbered rifles will be made!


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wimpy \wim-pe\ adj: Lacking strength of will or character Synonyms: frail, characterless, weak

DON’T LET THE NAME FOOL YOU. Wimpy P-l outlived his name and made history when he was hand-selected as the horse to receive registration number 1 in the American Quarter Horse Association registry. He was just the first, however, of a long line of extraordinary horses and people who would continue to make history.

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Purchase U.S. Marshals Service 225th Anniversary Commemorative Coins and support the Legacy of the U.S. Marshals before sales end, December 2015.


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Ope n i ngShOt We Take You There

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Honest Abe and a Mountain Man In Washington, D.C. for his November 1864 visit with President Abraham Lincoln, California mountain man Seth Kinman reclined in Mathew Brady’s photography studio. After the nimrod presented the elkhorn chair he had made to President Lincoln, Honest Abe gave him a pull of Bourbon in the East Room of the White House. Kinman cradles the Kentucky rifle he called “Old Cottonblossom,” which the President handle, saying, “Seth, that’s the kind of artillery I was raised on.” Note the set of elkhorns and the grizzly bear feet, material from his hunts that Kinman used to craft his chairs. – True WesT archives –

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True West captures the spirit of the West with authenticity, personality and humor by providing a necessary link from our history to our present.


True West Online

December 2015 Online and Social Media Content

EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Bob Boze Bell EDITOR: Meghan Saar EDITORIAL TEAM Senior Editor: Stuart Rosebrook Features Editor: Mark Boardman Copy Editor: Beth Deveny Firearms Editor: Phil Spangenberger Westerns Film Editor: Henry C. Parke Military History Editor: Col. Alan C. Huffines, U.S. Army Preservation Editor: Jana Bommersbach Social Media Editor: Darren Jensen Content Curator: Cameron Douglas PRODUCTION MANAGER: Robert Ray ART DIRECTOR: Daniel Harshberger GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Rebecca Edwards MAPINATOR EMERITUS: Gus Walker HISTORICAL CONSULTANT: Paul Hutton CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Tom Augherton, Allen Barra, John Beckett, Terry A. Del Bene, John Boessenecker, Johnny D. Boggs, Richard H. Dillon, Drew Gomber, Dr. Jim Kornberg, Leon Metz, Sherry Monahan, Candy Moulton, Frederick Nolan, Gary Roberts, John Stanley, Andy Thomas, Marshall Trimble, Linda Wommack ARCHIVIST/PROOFREADER: Ron Frieling PUBLISHER EMERITUS: Robert G. McCubbin TRUE WEST FOUNDER: Joe Austell Small (1914-1994)

A young oung Bat Masterson stands alongside his friend Wyatt yatt Earp in this 1876 photo. At the time, they were Ford rd County deputies. Masterson was 23, and Earp was as 28. Find this and more historical photography onn our “Western Icons” board.

The Two Davys: They shared the same name, but carried different legacies to the grave (see Investigating History on p. 12). Go behind the scenes of True West with Bob Boze Bell to see this and more of the Daily Whipouts (search for “September 9, 2015”).

ADVERTISING/BUSINESS PRESIDENT & CEO: Bob Boze Bell PUBLISHER & CRO: Ken Amorosano CFO: Lucinda Amorosano GENERAL MANAGER: Carole Compton Glenn ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER: Dave Daiss SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR: Ken Amorosano REGIONAL SALES MANAGERS Greg Carroll ([emailprotected]) Arizona, California, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Nevada & Washington Cynthia Burke ([emailprotected]) Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah & Wyoming Sheri Riley ([emailprotected]) Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon, Tennessee & Texas ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT: Stephanie Noble December 2015, Vol. 62, #12, Whole #551. True West (ISSN 0041-3615) is published twelve times a year (January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December) by True West Publishing, Inc., 6702 E. Cave Creek Rd, Suite #5 Cave Creek, AZ 85331. 480-575-1881. Periodical postage paid at Cave Creek, AZ 85327, and at additional mailing offices. Canadian GST Registration Number R132182866. Single copies: $5.99. U.S. subscription rate is $29.95 per year (12 issues); $49.95 for two years (24 issues). POSTMASTER: Please send address change to: True West, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327. Printed in the United States of America. Copyright 2015 by True West Publishing, Inc. Information provided is for educational or entertainment purposes only. True West Publishing, Inc. assumes no liability or responsibility for any inaccurate, delayed or incomplete information, nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


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Join the Conversation “Life was dusty. It was dirty in comparison to today. People knew no better. They were hard and made do. We can learn a lot from their experiences.” – Larry Marble of Seguin, Texas

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Why is John Colter widely considered to be the first of these hardy frontiersmen? —By Win Blevins


An interview with T.J. Stiles, author of the latest George Custer tome, Custer’s Trials. —By Allen Barra


SEATS OF LUXURY Pacific Coast mountain man Seth Kinman’s presidential chairs. —By Meghan Saar


Why Wounded Knee should not be considered the last Indian War. —By Jerome A. Greene


A BRILLIANT BUT DOOMED MISSION A little-known 1895 plan to track down Apaches could have prevented mayhem. —By Lynda A. Sánchez

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GERONIMO CASHES IN The famous Apache leader rose above his prisoner of war status. —By Jana Bommersbach




THE ORIGINAL WAR WAGON Deadwood-Cheyenne Trail stagecoach robberies led to unique treasure coaches. —By Bill Markley


TRUE WEST’S HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR 2015 Enjoy this cornucopia of Western gift items for your cowboys and cowgirls. —Special Advertising Section

Contention City got the railroad first, but died out because of a fluke. —By Kevin Hogge and Cindy Smith

Watch our videos!

Scan your mobile device over any of the QR codes in this magazine to instantly stream original True West videos or be transported to our websites.



Cover design by Dan Harshberger; Illustrated by Andy Thomas





Doc Photo Debate

Angus and I have been receiving True West over in the UK for about five years now and absolutely love it! Thanks to your magazine, we have visited numerous battle sites, forts—even the site of Billy Dixon’s Big 50 episode at Adobe Walls to see the bluff! Angus is a walking encyclopedia on George Custer. Following your coverage Angus and Nicki of the best Western town McCrudden got hitched in Durango, in February 2015, we chose Colorado, wearing to get married this year, 1940s clothing on July 3, in your #1 town, (above). They wore Durango, Colorado, at the vintage Western Strater Hotel. rodeo wear for We had a brilliant threetheir post-wedding week RV road trip, taking in photos (left). some historical sites (Fort – BY KAREN SKELLY OF Bridger, Fort Laramie) and DURANGO, COLORADO – up and down the Rocky Mountains (Independence Pass was a blast!). Thank you for recommending the Strater Hotel and the city of Durango—brilliant places to have our wedding!

As much as I want to believe that newly-discovered photo is of Doc Holliday [October 2015], I don’t think it can be. I studied the windows and compared them to those of the Hotel Glenwood, and they don’t match; the hotel’s windows did not have dividers.

Nicki and Angus McCrudden Portsmouth, United Kingdom

WANNABE EARP FLICK In your October 2015 issue, under the th heading of “Wyatt Earp Wannabes,” you yo who offered photos of Hollywood actors wh “Wyatt had either portrayed characters as “Wyat Earp” or played characters inspired by the lawman. You included Richard Dix and his 1935 movie, The Arizonian. This claim, to say the least, would be a stretch. In the 1935 film, Dix played a fictional character called Clay Tallant, who could be considered a composite of several frontier lawmen, including Earp. The Earp film that Dix deserves to be remembered for is Tombstone: The Town Too Tough to Die. Released in 1942, the film not only identified Earp by name, but also cast other actors as Doc Holliday, Virgil and Morgan Earp, Curly Bill Brocius, Ike and Billy Clanton, and Tom and Frank McLaury (called “McLowery” in the film). While this film often strayed from history, it did offer an almost real-time version of Tombstone’s Gunfight Behind the O.K. Corral. Jack DeMattos North Attleboro, Massachusetts T R U E



Will Tomlinson Greensboro, North Carolina

Hat Check I enjoyed Paul Seydor’s “Big Brims” article [October 2015], and I have insight on the misnamed “Tom Mix” crease. Around 1978, I told the then-president of Stetson that I had recently bought a Stetson advertised as a “Tom Mix” that came with a deep front crease. Although I loved the hat, I pointed out that the cowboy actor had never worn that crease in his hats nor was he known for it. Mix’s extra big hats were blocked with two deep side dents that left the top narrow and undented asked and the front undented and smooth. I also as ed why Stetson made it in silverbelly (right) and not pure white like Mix often wore. The president blamed ignorance on the part of his ad agency creative team. They didn’t know Mix at all. He also explained that white hats were expensive to make and only rodeo queens wanted them. So Stetson wound und up with the wrong hat in the wrong color. Because of Stetson’s promotion, almost every hat maker’s catalog alog shows a Tom Mix with the front crease. As an example of how pervasive this belief has become, the Pro Rodeo museum’s useum’s Hall of Champions in Colorado Springs, Colorado, displays plays a real Mix-owned hat, in pure white, with the wrong crease! It has stain marks of the old crease before the museum staff ff re-blocked it to fit the popular expectation. JJim m Dunham, historian and director of Special Projects at the BBooth oth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia

Stetson’s Hat Trick: A vintage Stetson ad came closer to depicting the real Tom Mix crease. Both photos of Mix show his characteristic two deep side dents, but the hat style is clearer in the bottom photograph.






BY BoB Boze Bell

Wouldah, Couldah, Shouldah

Hindsight is 20-20—the hardest of the history hurdles.


ew things offend me as much as judging people in the past by today’s values and standards. Yet, we can’t help it. Historians judge the dead! True, some episodes have proven immune to evolving values. Time has not diminished our contempt for Charles Tribolet, the whiskey peddler who derailed Gen. George Crook’s parlay with Apache leader Geronimo, nor has it curtailed our love affair with certain outlaws and renegades, even though some killed innocent people. But one event that was perceived as a military “victory,” back in the day, has evolved into a shameful tragedy. That would be Wounded Knee. Another, the conquest of Apacheria, is today rife with regret and plenty of damnation. A strong discipline is required to rise above the modern-day judging these controversial subjects naturally produce, creating what I call the “Wouldah, Couldah, Shouldah Syndrome.” But we are in good hands with Jerome A. Greene and Lynda A. Sánchez, who both give us not only the straight story, but also a balanced and fair appraisal of both situations. We have been honored to work with the excellent Andy Thomas, who has illustrated our Survival Out West column. Another hurdle in covering the historical West is we can’t go back in time and ask a photographer to preserve an important moment or person for posterity. When we’re lucky, artists like Thomas combine historical research and artistry to provide visuals. As Thomas bids us adieu on the department, his art graces our cover for the first time, with his excellent mountain man portrayal of John Colter. We have a hunch that this won’t be his last cover.

Apache Twilight: Apaches roamed and raided over a vast territory of the Southwest, both in the United States and deep into Mexico. Most people don’t realize they continued raiding in Mexico up into the 1920 and 1930s. – IllusTrATIon by bob boze bell –

For a behind-the-scenes look at running this magazine, check out BBB’s daily blog at

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“It seems to me we need something like the Manhattan Project. We need some urgency saying, ‘Here’s what we should be doing. We’ve got to get off fossil fuels.’” – Lee Iacocca, American automobile executive

“War is wretched beyond description, and only a fool or a fraud could sentimentalize its cruel reality.” – John McCain, Vietnam War prisoner of war and U.S. senator from Arizona

“I knew the record would stand until it was broken.” – Yogi Berra, in a congratulatory telegram to catcher Johnny Bench; Berra died Sept. 22

“...the preservation of the means of knowledge among the lowest ranks is of more importance to the public than all the property of all the rich men in the country.” – John Adams, second U.S. president

“Let’s turn inflation over to the post office. That’ll slow it down.” – Morris K. Udall, Arizona congressman

“This is an historic moment, but like most history, it’s not on the History Channel.”

“When people fear surveillance, whether it exists or not, when they grow afraid to speak their minds and hearts freely to their government or to anyone else, then we shall cease to be a free society.” —Sam Ervin, leading U.S. senator in Watergate investigation

“I think I have learned that the best way to lift one’s self up is to help someone else.” —Booker T. Washington, black community leader and advisor to U.S. presidents

“I have the easiest job in Hollywood, because I get paid to be me. What’s the role? A milkman? ‘Hey, I’m a milkman. Here’s your milk.’ ‘Cut. Print.” —Christopher Walken, American actor, shown in 1988’s The Milagro Beanfield War

– Stephen Colbert, as the new host for CBS’s The Late Show

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” – Thomas Edison, prolific American inventor




Old Vaquero Saying

“When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends.”

This is likely one of the most interesting real-life treasure stories you will ever read. It is the written account of Larry Ditzer’s and Marshall Bulle’s fascinating adventures in New Mexico’s rugged and wild Black Range. Their explorations spanned all of three decades, much of which was spent looking for an old Spanish cannon seen by cowboy Walt Nichols in the 1950s, high up in the Black Range. Their persistent efforts turned up much more than a cannon. In the end they accidently discovered that Walt’s cannon (a photo which is included in this book) had once been guarding the long soughtafter location of the famous Lost Adams Diggings. The ghostly image of a woman, painted on a mountain in brilliant colors, that Jake Schafer reported seeing (in connection with the approximate ten pounds of nuggets he took out of the Black Range in 1872) is shown here on the front cover. James McKenna left us an account of her in his book Black Range Tales. The old faded video of Schafer’s Woman (seen on our website) was taken in the 1980s. Her accidental discovery was one of many clues that Jake Schafer had indeedfound his gold at the Lost Adams Diggings. There are other spooky photos in this book which will give you goose-bumps besides the ones you may experience from watching this video. Long believed to be a figment of Shafer’s imagination, the video taken of her in one of the most remote parts of the Black Range, proves otherwise.

Libby Schmidt is the great grandniece of James A. McKenna, the mountain man who wrote the book “Black Range Tales.” She graciously supplied several old photos, including the ones seen here of McKenna and his prospecting partner Jason J. Baxter. Both men searched for the Lost Adams Diggings in the 1800s. This mine has long been thought to be one of the richest lost gold mines in north America. “Hidden Treasures of the Black Range” has over 300 color photographs within its hardbound 268 pages man-made leather 9” x 12” cover which clearly show that James Andrew McKenna (lt) this old legend was no hoax. McKenna Baxter (rt)

Praises for Hidden Treasures of the Black Range “This is a book you will never forget!” -Former Minnesota Governor Al Quie “No other book of this caliber has ever been so complete and detailed and at the same time keeps the reader spellbound with expectations of grandiose at its end.” -Stephen B. Shaffer, author “Of Men and Gold,” and guest on The History Channel. ”As I read the book, I was extremely impressed with your insistence on scholarship to confirm the details of what you had found. I was a history major in college and I can’t think of any textbook or other reading I have done that backs up its claims as well as you have done. I believe this book will go down in history as the piece of research that solved the mystery of the Lost Adams Diggings and the Spanish Gold Mine.” -Libby Schmidt

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BY mark Boardman

The Outlaw Davy Crockett This Davy died in infamy.


avy Crockett, the King of the Wild Frontier, was born on a mountaintop in Tennessee, served in Congress, fought Indians and died a legend at the Alamo in 1836. Another Davy Crockett could be remembered as the King of Wild on the Frontier. That Davy was a bad man. He, too, was born in Tennessee, circa 1853. He was reportedly related to the more famous Crockett, who died 17 years earlier in San Antonio, Texas, but the tie is unclear. The second Davy’s family moved to Texas when he was young; by the age of 17, he had drifted to New Mexico—drinking, gambling

and getting in trouble with characters such as gunman Clay Allison. Davy hit the dregs on March 24, 1876, at Henri Lambert’s inn (now the St. James Hotel) in Cimarron. A drunk Davy and pals Gus Heffron and Henry Goodman were ready to leave. Davy had trouble opening the door—a Buffalo Soldier was on the outside, trying to get in. In a foul mood, Davy shot and killed the man. Three more Buffalo Soldiers, from the 9th U.S. Cavalry at nearby Fort Union, were playing cards at a table inside the saloon. Davy whipped around and opened fire, killing two and wounding the other. Davy ran out of town on foot (cavalry horses were stabled in the same barn as Davy’s mount). He was arrested and tried for the murders, but he claimed that he wasn’t

Troublemakers Henry C. Goodman, Gus Heffron and Davy Crockett (from left) pose together in Trinidad, Colorado, during the early 1870s. – Courtesy ChuCk Parsons –

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responsible for his actions because he was drunk. The court agreed and acquitted him; all he got was a $50 fine, for illegally carrying a gun in town. Emboldened by the incident, Davy thought he was above the law. He and Heffron hurrahed Cimarron on a regular basis, getting drunk and shooting at various targets, riding horses into saloons and other buildings, and threatening citizens and lawmen. The two reportedly held Sheriff Isaiah Rinehart at gunpoint, forcing him to drink until he passed out. Citizens began pressuring the sheriff. After six months, he took action. Rinehart deputized rancher Joseph Holbrook and postmaster John McCullough. The three lawmen were armed with shotguns when they ran into the pair on the night of September 30, 1876. Holbrook stepped out in front of the wanted men and told them to surrender…or else. Davy reportedly laughed and dared the deputy to shoot. Holbrook pulled the trigger. Rinehart and McCullough followed suit. Davy died in the saddle; Heffron was wounded and captured. He escaped jail in late October and disappeared. Strangely, Davy’s final resting place was in the Cimarron Cemetery, just feet away from the three Buffalo Soldiers he had killed a few months before. His grave was unmarked. Somebody put up a marker a couple of years ago, but who knows if it correctly identifies Davy’s burial site. The second Davy sullied the name emblazoned by the King of the Wild Frontier. The New Mexico guy probably should be forgotten.

Davy reportedly laughed and dared the deputy to shoot.

Reputation matters.

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THE SHOW: Weekend Shopping Event! Saturday, January 23, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm Sunday, January 24, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm Mesa Convention Center 263 N. Center Street Mesa, AZ 85201 THE AUCTION: Saturday, January 23, 5:00 pm Catalogs $30 Preview Hours: Thursday, January 21, 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm Friday, January 22, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Saturday, January 23, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm Phoenix Marriott Mesa 200 N. Centennial Way Mesa, AZ 85201 (Next door to the show) The Mesa Show has been a shopping destination for 26 years. $10 entry daily or buy tickets online and save.

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Townful of Santas

“Nebraska’s Christmas City” spreads cheer and generosity to reopen an 1891 opera house.

This town of just 3,000 deserves to wear the heart and spirit of Christmas.

Minden’s den’s strong Christmas spirit dates back to a century ago, when J.W. Haws strung Christmas lights atop the dome of the Kearney nty Courthouse (left), beginning a Nebraska tradition that, today, County can be seen for miles. – COURTESY OURTESY MINDEN OPERA HOUSE –


inden bills itself as “Nebraska’s Nebraska s Christmas City,” stringing 15,000 lights throughout its town square to seal the deal. But to know why this town of just 3,000 deserves to wear the heart and spirit of Christmas, then the story of a giving and generous community rallying around the Minden Opera House must be told. In 1997, Nebraska’s retired director of the Department of Agriculture, Rob Raun, looked around his hometown and realized the opera house where he had danced as a boy was in such bad shape, “we were gonna lose it.” The lifelong farmer had watched the building deteriorate over the years— antique shops occupied the lower floor, while the second-floor ballroom was boarded up or used for storage. He couldn’t imagine his town without the majestic building built by Civil War veteran Wray Thorn in 1891—just 15 years after German,




Swedish edish and Danish farmers f nded the town. founded Fortunately, a new comunity foundation was munity l oking for a landmark looking oject. Putting the two project. gether resulted in the best together hristmas present the town Christmas uld ever want. could Not a cent of tax oney went into the $2.8 money illion that renovated the million opera house, which reopened in 2000. The project was paid for by individual contributions and grant money from generous corporations that included the Peter Kiewit Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, Walmart and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. Marcy Brandt, the director of operations, says a donor wall honors those who gave $1,000 or more. “There’s 100 to 150 names on that wall, and I know about 80 percent of them—that family lives over there; I know that family. The people of Minden really stepped up,” she says. Born and reared in Minden, Brandt recalls the “old days” when the opera house presented yearly plays of the volunteer Community Players. “I played piano in Paint Your Wagon when I was in high school,” the mother of three proudly says. The Community Players are back in the renovated building, entertaining with at least two plays a year. Other performances

include musical concerts, comedy acts and a Classic Monster Movie Marathon. The opera house has also become a favorite wedding and prom venue. “We’re super proud,” Brandt says—both of the opera house and the community efforts to save it. Raun agrees, and he also offers advice for another town that faces the loss of a local treasure: “Don’t give up. If you’ve got somebody who’s really sold and can carry the ball, it will make all the difference.” The Minden Opera House will be in its full glory this Christmas, when the town celebrates “100 years of lights.” It will host a community choir concert and a Miss Christmas City pageant, and will oversee the town square’s Light Parade. But Christmas won’t shine just on the outside of this lovely Midwestern town; it will also be Christmas in everyone’s hearts. Arizona’s Journalist of the Year, Jana Bommersbach has won an Emmy and two Lifetime Achievement Awards. She also cowrote and appeared on the Emmy-winning Outrageous Arizona and has written two true crime books, a children’s book and the historical novel Cattle Kate.

After the Civil War, Wray Thorn settled in Minden, Nebraska, and built the opera house that still spreads cheer, nearly 125 years later. – COURTESY MELISSA CREAMER, WRAY THORN’S GREAT-GREATGRANDDAUGHTER –

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BY meghan saar

Hugh Glass’s Deadly Journey The mountain man’s life-ending link to Fort Union.

From 1828 until 1867, Fort Union was the most important trading site along the Upper Missouri River. The open gates in Tom Lovell’s Sundown at Fort Union convey the easy company enjoyed by the Indians, mountain men and traders at this prosperous trading post; $120,000.


n the winter of 1833, ten years after Hugh Glass was attacked by a grizzly and left for dead, the mountain man took a message to Fort Union with Ed Rose and Menard. As they crossed the frozen Yellowstone River below the fort, Arikara warriors charged down; all three fur trappers were killed. Their deaths were avenged by John Soy Gardner, who “caught up with a couple of the murderers a few weeks later and burned them to death,” John F.A. Sanford wrote to Superintendent of Indian Affairs William Clark on July 26. Clark was the same man who had traveled with Meriwether Lewis to this spot near the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers in April 1805; the explorers recommended the area as a prime site to establish a trading empire. John Jacob Astor’s American Fur Company made that dream a reality

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when his trappers constructed the fort around 1828. Two years later, on May 19, Glass was recorded in one of the first explicit references to Fort Union, when he arrived at Fort Tec*mseh with Francis Viond and nine men. They rounded up 58 horses and mules for Fort Union and headed back to the post on May 23. The murders of Glass and his trapper companions took place while German Prince Alexander Maximilian was visiting Fort Union with Swiss artist Karl Bodmer, who, along with George Catlin the year before, illustrated the only known portrayals of the original fort. The prince added to his collection the scalp of an Arikara who had slain the mountain men and even Glass’s scalp itself. But this last remnant of one of the earliest mountain men never made it to Germany; Maximilian’s collection burned

in a fire aboard the steamboat Assiniboine. Bodmer’s July 2, 1833, pencil sketch portrays Fort Union’s wooden gates and towers, which informed Tom Lovell’s Sundown at Fort Union. The oil hammered down for $120,000 at the Jackson Hole Art Auction held on September 18-19, a couple months before the Christmas Day release of the Hugh Glass movie, The Revenant. Hosted in the Wyoming city that celebrates its pre-1840s fur trappers rendezvous history with an annual summer festival, the auction, which realized nearly $5.6 million in bids, sold numerous mountain man artworks to collectors.

UPCOMING AUCTIONS December 4-6, 2015

Historic Firearms Rock Island Auction Company (Rock Island, IL) 800-238-8022

December 7, 2015

American Indian Art Bonhams (San Francisco, CA) • 415-503-3550

Notable Mountain Man Lots Included (All images courtesy Jackson Hole Art Auction)

(Clockwise, from top left) Expert Criticism by Arnold Friberg, known for his artworks of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, $45,000; Dubious Advice by Alfredo Rodriguez, $12,000; The Trapper by Karin Hollebeke, $500; Preparée by Alfredo Rodriguez, $7,000; Trapper bronze by Harry Jackson, $8,000.

Although Jenness Cortez’s Four American Visionaries painting sold at auction ($110,000), as of press date, her tribute to the mountain men, The Trailblazers (left), is still available for purchase, for $40,000. Included in this homage are Albert Bierstadt’s Mountainous Landscape by Moonlight, Edgar S. Paxson’s illustration of mountain man John Colter and Frederic Remington’s The Mountain Man bronze.

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Taylor Marshall

Fancy Checkered Walnut Grip 5 ½” .45LC or .357 Mag., Blue Color Case-Hardened. Manufactured with forged frame.


Exclusively from Taylor’s & Co., The Smoke Wagon is a second-generation, stagecoach-style, singleaction revolver. It boasts a low-profile hammer and widerstyle sights, which allow the user to acquire sighting faster, without co*cking the pistol. It also features a blue finish with a case-hardened frame and a thin, richly detailed, checkered grip for comfort and improved aim. All of the previous features are available on both standard and deluxe edition models. The deluxe edition model also includes custom tuning; custom hammer and base pin springs; trigger pull at three pounds; jig-cut, positive angles on all triggers and sears for crisp, reliable action; a coil-loaded hand; and wire bolt spring. Manufactured with forged frame.




2007 SASS Gun of the Year

Taylor Gambler


Cartridge Revolvers & hand guns

Checkered White PVC Grip 5 ½” .45LC or .357 Mag, Blue Color Case-Hardened. Manufactured with forged frame.

Gunfighter Features a larger Army-sized grip. Choice of smooth walnut grips, or laser checkered grips. Manufactured with forged frame. Custom Deluxe Tuning available by request

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BY phil spangenBerger

Sure Cure for Flinchlock Fever Follow these simple steps to improve your flintlock shooting.


hen Western traveler George Rutledge Gibson wrote how he and his companions prepared for a possible Indian attack in May 1848, he recalled that “flints were screwed in, pans primed and all things made ready for a fight.” Frontiersmen took such knowledge for granted, but modern users can find these now archaic firearms challenging. Flintlock shooters become disconcerted when too big a charge in the pan creates too much flash, causing “flinchlock fever”—the pan’s flash makes you flinch, and your shot goes astray.

The flintlock system is the longest-used method of firearms ignition, having lasted more than 200 years. Why does this happen? Some flintlock shooters make the mistake of heaping their flinter’s flash pan full with priming powder. The flintlock system is the longest-used method of firearms ignition, having lasted more than 200 years. In the heyday of blackpowder, soldiers primed their muskets with Fg (1F) blackpowder, which was taken directly from the musket’s paper cartridge. A soldier poured a small amount of his cartridge’s powder into the pan and then loaded the main charge and ball down the barrel. Rifle and pistol priming pans are smaller than those found in military muskets, so I advise you to stay with the finer FFFFg (4F) priming powder.

Famed frontiersmen, including Davy Crockett (shown) and Daniel Boone, blazed a nation out of a wilderness while using flintlocks. Shooting flinters today requires the same care and steps as they did nearly two centuries ago. – True WesT Archives –

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Simeon North made the below .54 caliber Model 1816 flintlock that Kit Carson carried during the Mexican-American War. The frontiersman next armed himself for the Civil War. In this photograph taken in 1861 or 1862, Carson (far left), standing next to Edwin O. Perrin, wears his New Mexico Volunt b. Volunteer garb. – CARSON’S SO S FLINTLOCK O PHOTO O O O S TIM PETERSON SO FAMILY Y COURTESY COLLECTION SCOTTSDALE’S SCOTTSDALE S MUSEUM COLLECTION, É T OF THE WEST; CARSON & FRÉMONT O O TRUE WEST S ARCHIVES S– PHOTO

handling h dl skills, k ll you will ll enjoy shooting ting these th reflections of yesteryear m h more. much First, make sure you have cleaned the touch hole with your vent pick, previous to loading. Once you have charged the flash pan, tip your firearm so that the powder in the pan falls into the touch hole. You can help it along by lightly tapping the side of the flintlock with the palm of your hand. Be sure your flint stone has a sharp and well-angled edge. Once a stone’s edge

When pouring priming powder, you need only enough to burn through the touch hole into the main powder charge. Don’t pile the stuff as though you were filling a “heaping spoonful” of sugar. Likewise, don’t be stingy with your priming powder. A level or slightly-lessthan-level pan is sufficient for good ignition. Otherwise, you will not only waste powder, but also suffer flinchlock fever. The secret to shooting any flinter is to understand the gun and its place in the evolution of firearms (early 17th century to mid-19th century), and to enjoy the process. Although slow to load, flintlocks can be among the most fun guns to shoot. For muzzleloading firearms, especially flintlocks, the fun comes in the steps required to load and make your shot count—not just blazing away as one might with a modern Before loading and shooting any flintlock firearm, you should cartridge gun. clean the touch hole with a vent pick. This ensures that the Flintlocks are a breed of their pathway from the priming pan to the main charge in the barrel own and can be temperamental. is clear for sparks from the flint stones to ignite the priming If you follow a few simple steps powder in the flash pan. to improve your flintlock – TRUE WEST ARCHIVES – T R U E



becomes dull or its angle has worn away through repeated striking on the frizzen (striking plate), you will need to replace or to reshape the flint, a process known as “knapping.” Several muzzleloading suppliers sell flint knapping tools. If you don’t own a flint knapping tool, your knife will also serve the purpose. You should give the striking edge of the stone a series of light, sharp taps with either edge of your knife blade until the desired angle is achieved. Don’t strike too hard, as the edges of these stones are generally brittle and will chip away easily. Follow these simple tips, always wear eye and ear protection, and see if you don’t enjoy shooting a flintlock much more, while curing yourself of flinchlock fever.

Saddle up for adventure

Phil Spangenberger has written for Guns & Ammo, appears on the History Channel and other documentary networks, produces Wild West shows, is a Hollywood gun coach and character actor, and is True West’s Firearms Editor.

FIREARMS BUCKET LIST In 50 Famous Firearms You’ve Got to Own: Rick Hacker’s Bucket List of Guns, published by Gun Digest Books, respected gun writer Rick Hacker includes his favorite firearms for shooting pleasure, investment, collecting and self- defense. This richly illustrated volume features informative reading on firearms of all ages, including Old West treasures by Colt (Dragoon, 1860 Army and 1873 Peacemaker) and Winchester (1873, 1885 and 1886 models). This book should be on your bucket list.

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THE FIRST MOUNTAIN MAN WHY IS JOHN COLTER WIDELY CONSIDERED TO BE THE FIRST OF THESE HARDY FRONTIERSMEN? John Colter was a good hunter, a skilled woodsman, got along well with Indians and had a knack for surviving hazards and hardships that put other men under the ground. There, in the villages of the Mandan Indians on the Missouri River, in 1806, he was headed back to St. Louis, Missouri, and civilization, along with the other men of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s Corps of Discovery. They had done wonders. Crossed the continent to the Pacific Ocean. Seen and mapped a huge swath of northern Rocky Mountains. Parsed out a route across the Continental Divide and marked it down. Recorded the route of the Columbia River to the sea. Lived off the land the entire way. And gotten along well with almost all the Indians. These men were ready for St. Louis, for the food they had grown up with, for whiskey (Colter was fond of whiskey), for women, for company. And for accolades. Hell, they were heroes. But Colter was different. He couldn’t make a map, but he didn’t need one. He had an eye and a memory for the ridges of the Rocky Mountains and the wild rivers that cut them into their crazy-quilt shapes. He liked to spend his days alone, hunting, seeing, learning. And he had no yen for what the civilized world offered him. He must have seen something back in those wild mountains, sensed something. Being a man of few words, he probably (Opposite page) In the winter of 1807-08, on a solo journey of 500 miles, John Colter became the first European to see Jackson Hole and the Teton Mountains in what became Wyoming Territory. Colter stands here, not enthralled by the magnificent mountains, but co*cking his flintlock at the hint of danger from man or beast.

couldn’t explain, or had no inclination to. A love of adventure? A taste for the thrill of danger? A yearning to see what was over the next ridge? An addiction to feeling the rush of blood, which rose to the challenge of do or die? All he knew was that he wanted more of what was behind him, much more. A risk to his life? Or were those mountains and rivers the only life for him? We can’t find out from Colter. From what the record shows, he never spoke his passion for the wild life.


The next spring, 1807, he canoed back downriver without his companions. (No one knew what happened to them.) Far downriver, he spotted keelboats and five dozen men overhauling them. The expedition was outfitted and bossed by a Spaniard, Manuel Lisa, another greenhorn. But among the laborers were some of his old companions from the Corps of Discovery. All were headed back to the Shining Mountains, as they called the Rocky Mountains, to get that beaver. For Colter, the decision was simple. He turned around and headed back to the high country. Based on his greater knowledge of the country, he led the expedition away from the Missouri River to the mouth of Big Horn River, where the friendly Crow Indians lived. Lisa’s plan was less to trap beaver than to trade for their hides, so he built a fort at the mouth of this river. Then he dispatched one of his most experienced men into the surrounding country to inform the Indians that he was willing to trade. Inevitably, he sent Colter.

John Colter had a knack for surviving hazards and hardships that put other men under the ground.

Now, at the Mandan villages, he was faced with a big decision. He met two would-be trappers he knew nothing about, except that they had no idea about the country they were headed for, no clue about the raw risks that lay ahead and almost none of the skills they would need to succeed as trappers, or even come out of the mountains alive. These innocents asked Colter to come along. They tried to tempt him by saying they would make a fortune trapping beaver. At least they had shown sense in one way. They were recruiting one of the handful of men who knew the country upriver. No one knew more than Colter. He asked Clark and Lewis for early release from his soldier’s duties. The captains judged that Colter had performed so well that he deserved to do whatever he liked. So they gave their blessing, and he headed back up the Missouri River.

JOURNEY THROUGH COLTER’S HELL Going alone must have been fine with Colter. With a 30-pound pack and a rifle, he went up the Big Horn River, then up the Wind River and over a high pass into Jackson Hole. He was the first white man ever to see that magnificent valley, watered by the Snake River and rimmed on the west by the lofty Tetons. Then he wandered upstream into Yellowstone Country and saw the geysers




and hot springs. When he told about that country of fiery waters, some of his comrades didn’t believe him. They gave the region that would become Yellowstone National Park the name Colter’s Hell. From there, he made his way, perhaps down the Yellowstone River, to the Big Horn and back to Lisa’s fort. A look at a map will make any modern reader gasp. Colter made a circle of about 500 miles through the northwest corner of Wyoming, the state’s highest and wildest region. He did it through the dead of winter, and alone. He must have stayed in many Indian camps, spreading the word of the chance to trade. He had no trouble with the native people, because he brought no trouble and treated them as friends. Only the arrival of the emigrants, more than 30 years later, would make the troubles boil up, because they treated the Indians as inferiors. Colter got back to Lisa’s fort in the spring of 1808, reported to him and then headed out to tell more tribes about the fort. Bad luck: His traveling companions, Flatheads and Crows, ran into a bunch of enemies, Blackfeet.

making enemies In the ensuing fight, Colter naturally fought with his companions, and they drove off the Blackfeet. Unfortunately, he was shot in one leg, and, worse, the Blackfeet noticed the white man and put him on their enemies list. After Colter recovered, he and a companion named Potts (possibly John Potts, who had also participated in the Lewis and Clark expedition) went on a fall beaver hunt and bumped into an entire tribe of Blackfeet. When the warriors ordered the whites to bring their canoes to shore, Colter did. Expecting only to be robbed, he slipped his traps into the water. Resisting, Potts shot and killed a Blackfeet. At that point, a volley from the Indians killed him. Then they hacked up the corpse and threw pieces in Colter’s face.

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In 1825, a dozen years after Colter’s death, William Ashley hosted the first rendezvous for fur trappers, beginning a summer tradition for trappers to trade and sell furs and goods. Ready to Rendezvous by James Bama (b 1926), oil on panel. – Courtesy tim Peterson Family ColleCtion, sCottsdale’s museum oF tHe West –

The Blackfeet stripped Colter naked and took his weapons. He expected to be killed immediately, or perhaps tortured by the women and killed. But no. After a council, they told Colter they would give him a head start; he could run for his life. At first, he walked, listening for the warriors to start running after him. As soon as he heard their whooping, he sprinted like a lunatic. A powerful man, he gradually pulled away from his pursuers. But he knew he had no chance on land—he needed to get into the Madison River, five miles away, and hide in the water. Then he saw that his chest and legs were crimson. Blood was spouting from his nose. He looked back. Only one Indian was close to him. Colter made a quick decision. He whirled on the man, challenging him. The Blackfeet charged, his spear raised. Colter grabbed the spear. When he twisted it, the spear broke, leaving the point and part of the shaft in Colter’s hands. The Indian fell onto

his back. Colter drove the head through the Blackfeet’s body, took his blanket and ran again. When Colter got to the river, he saw a lot of driftwood stranded on a sandbar or an island. He dove in, gasped at the painful cold of the snowmelt water and made for the driftwood. Diving underneath, he struggled until he found a place to get his head up into the air. There in the darkness, freezing, he stayed. The Blackfeet tramped up and down the banks, looking for tracks where he had left the river. They climbed out onto the driftwood. But they didn’t find him. Finally, they gave up. Colter was 200 miles from the fort and faced a nightmare. He was naked, except for a blanket, and unarmed. As he walked, his feet were torn by cactus and rocks. He had nothing to eat but bark and roots. Eleven days later, barely alive, he got to the fort. Traveling constantly, day and night with only short rests, starving, he had averaged nearly 20 miles a day. When he recovered, he went back to where he had dropped the traps. They were worth $10 apiece, several hundred dollars in today’s money. The Blackfeet crept up on him at his campfire. Hearing their approach, he scurried into the dark. When he got back to the fort, he “promised God Almighty that he would never return to this region again if he were only permitted to escape once more with his life.”

Forgetting His Promise In early summer of 1809, the men closed the fort and headed downriver. Riches? For their two years’ work, they had only 15 beaver skins and 10 buffalo hides. At the Mandan villages in September, fate whacked Colter again. He met Lisa coming back upriver with 150 men and tons of trade goods. Colter promptly forgot his vow and went back to the mountains with this formidable

Mountain men appreciated the Indians’ wild and motley apparel. As Washington Irving noted in his 1837 historical account of fur trapper Benjamin Bonneville, “You cannot pay a free trapper a greater compliment, than to persuade him you have mistaken him for an Indian brave; and, in truth, the counterfeit is complete.” I took Ye for an Injin, 1890, by Frederic Remington (1861-1909), mixed media. – COurtesy tim PetersOn FamiLy COLLeCtiOn, sCOttsdaLe’s museum OF the West –

He got out, carrying a letter down to St. Louis stating the country was full of beaver, but that getting them was a perilous endeavor. Unless peace could be made with the Blackfeet, or the Indians could be destroyed, trapping and trading were impossible. Colter also helped Clark fill out his map of the northern Rockies. Then he married, fathered a son and devoted himself to farming.

the Yellowstone like no other. They also invited him to come along. Naturally, Colter wanted to go. Life in the settlements was safe, he must have thought, but boring. He longed for adventure. Still, he had a new wife and new son. He stayed. Two years later, still in his 30s, the first mountain man died of jaundice, far from his real home.

One Last ChanCe

Win Blevins is the author of numerous historical novels, including Give Your Heart to the Hawks. (Visit In 2015, he won the Owen Wister Award, for lifetime achievement in writing literature of the West, from Western Writers of America. He lives with his wife, novelist Meredith, among the Navajos in San Juan County, Utah.

The next year, fur trappers from John Jacob Astor’s expedition stopped to pick the brain of the man who knew the country of the high Missouri and

force. At least the fort on the Big Horn was far from Blackfeet Country. But Lisa’s great aim was to establish a fort at the Three Forks of the Missouri, the heart of Blackfeet territory. The next spring, 1810, Colter found himself guiding a crew of 80 men to the Three Forks. While they were throwing up a stockade, Colter led a group of 18 up the Jefferson River to trap. After 10 miles, they were attacked by Blackfeet. They were robbed of almost everything; two men were killed, and three others were missing. Colter was convinced, at last, that the Blackfeet were his personal devils. When he got back to the fort, he threw his hat on the ground and announced, “Now if God will only forgive me this time and let me off I will leave the country day after tomorrow— and be damned if I ever come into it again.”

John Colter crossed the Continental Divide, at either Union Pass or Togwotee Pass, in 1807, when he explored the region that was dubbed “Colter’s Hell” and became Yellowstone National Park. Crossing the Divide by Frank McCarthy (1924-2002), oil on canvas. – COurtesy tim PetersOn FamiLy COLLeCtiOn, sCOttsdaLe’s museum OF the West –

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In 1852, flush times abounded at Christmas in Uniontown, located in the Humboldt Bay area of northern California. Argonauts paid Seth Kinman and David Leeper $50 each—$1,580 each in purchasing power today—to preside as the orchestra. “Kinman’s repertoire consisted mainly of an alternation of ‘The Arkansaw Traveler’ and ‘Hell on the Wabash’....” Leeper recalled. Kinman was already known for his fiddle playing by then, but he would become more famous for trapping elk and grizzly bears as a mountain man... particularly for what he created out of their horns. Wandering trappers led by William Henry Ashley first reached California about 30 years before Kinman. Yet Charles Howard Shinn, in a November 1891 article for Outing Magazine, held up Kinman as the most “remarkable trapper in the Humboldt region....” He also gave the mountain man credit as the guide who helped George Crook shoot his first bear, in 1853, at Fort Humboldt in Eureka. Kinman was supplying the fort with elk meat at that time, remembered Mary B. Underwood, who had traveled to the fort with her lieutenant husband, Edward. She made note of the bear hunt as well: “Lieut. Crook, later General George Crook, who was a sub under Lt. Underwood, set a trap and caught a black bear in the woods near where the fort was being built.” Bears caught in traps were still ferocious and dangerous, as Stephen Powers noted in his 1877 book. After an Indian fetched Kinman for help, the mountain man “...found an enormous grizzly bear snared in the noose, frantic with rage, roaring, lunging about, dragging down the bushes and saplings with the pole, and throwing himself headlong when suddenly brought up by some tree.” Kinman told Powers he waited for the beast to quiet itself a bit, then “sent a bullet singing into his brain. The great brute fell, quivered, then lay quiet.” Kinman was more than just a hardy frontiersman; he was also a widower and single father of three youngsters when he used his jackknife and elk and grizzly bear parts he had collected over the years to craft his chairs for dignitaries and U.S. presidents. Cholera had taken two of his sons, in early December 1852, before his Christmas concert, and his wife died not long after, in April 1853. The mountain man’s ingenuity may have been borne out of his tragic loss of his loved ones.







With North American beaver fur trade collapsing in the 1840s, mountain man Robert Newell lamented, “The fur trade is dead in the Rocky Mountains....” In his 30s at the time, Seth Kinman (seated in one of his famous chairs) crossed the plains into California, where he lived and hunted until he died, in 1888, after accidentally shooting himself in the leg. – ALL IMAGES TRUE WEST ARCHIVES UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED –

Eye of a Wild Beast When The Rev. O.P. Fitzgerald met Tiburcio Vásquez (right) in 1853, he compared the California bandit’s glaring eyes to Seth Kinman’s (far right), writing, “It was the eye of a wild beast, the baleful glitter you have seen in the eyes of snakes, panthers, catamounts, or other creatures of the reptile or feline kind.”

May 26, 1857: First elkhorn chair, to President James Buchanan.

September 18, 1876: Ohio Gov. Rutherford B. Hayes sits in Seth Kinman’s third elkhorn chair (above), before Hayes took office as the 19th U.S. president on March 4, 1877.


(Left) Seth Kinman plays his fiddle in the grizzlybear chair he presented to President Andrew Johnson on September 8, 1865. When he touched a cord on the chair, the head of the grizzly bear darted out from under the seat, snapping and gnashing its teeth. This fiddle may be the same one he fashioned out of the skull of his favorite mule. November 26, 1864: Second elkhorn chair, to President Abraham Lincoln.

September 8, 1865: Grizzly Bear chair, to President Andrew Johnson.

PRESIDENTIAL CHEERS (A.K.A. CHAIRS) Mountain man Seth Kinman presented his first presidential chair to James Buchanan, telling the New York dailies: “Anybody can make a cheer [chair], but I take credit for the design of this. I kill deer and elk meat up in Humboldt County. My range is from Bear Valley into Oregon. This winter I killed considerable meat, so I thought I would take it easy, and set about making this cheer [chair], with the view of sending it on to...Old Buck. After I got it finished, though, the boys up in our parts thought it would do to travel on; so I thought I would try and go on with it to [Washington, D.C.] myself...with nothing but my rifle and powder horn. Nobody has ever yet sat in this cheer [chair], and never shall till after the President.” He also presented chairs to Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson and Rutherford B. Hayes. After Lincoln’s assassination on Good Friday, citizens mourned their president’s death by rail, with his casket arriving in various cities for public viewing. On April 26, 1865, The New York Times described Kinman walking in the funeral cortege in New York City: “Much attention was attracted to Mr. Kinman, Californian, who walked in a full hunting suit of buckskin and fur, rifle on shoulder. Mr. Kinman, it will be remembered, presented to Mr. Lincoln some time ago a chair made of California elk-horn, and continuing his acquaintance with him, had, it is said, enjoyed quite a long conversation with him the very day before the murder.” In 1886, two years before he died, Kinman finished his last presidential chair, an elkhorn chair, for President Grover Cleveland.

By 1885, as The New York Times reported on December 9, Seth Kinman had killed: More than

800 grizzly bears

As many as

50 elk in one month

elk in under a year, while 240 on contract for the troops at Fort Humboldt

Ghost Dance Tragedy




Why Wounded Knee should not be considered the last Indian War. BY JEROME A. GREENE

For the 125th anniversary of the Wounded Knee Massacre, True West presents photographs taken by John C.H. Grabill the summer before and two weeks after the Pine Ridge fiasco. Shown here is a January 1891 photograph of the “great hostile Indian camp on River Brule,” with the Lakota tipi camp in the background and horses at White Clay Creek watering hole in foreground. – ALL PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

oming at the conclusion of what white Americans call the frontier period in their history, Wounded Knee climaxed an era of intermittent warfare. Troops and Indians clashed throughout the Trans-Mississippi West in a 30-year on-again, off-again conflict that witnessed the government’s decisive subjugation of the Indians. The December 28, 1890, encounter between U.S. Army and Lakota Sioux came in the wake of several other massacres of native peoples during that period—all of them undeniably premeditated—as punitive forces operating under the auspices of the United States forcibly subjected the Indians to the national will. Wounded Knee followed Bear River in Washington Territory (present-day Idaho), where some 250 members of a village of northwestern Shoshoni Indians died facing attacking troops in January 1863. It followed Sand Creek in Colorado Territory, where at least 150 Southern Cheyennes and Arapahos fell before guns of a federalized cavalry onslaught in November 1864. And it came after yet another Army strike killed 250 Piegan men, women and children at the Marias River in northwestern Montana Territory in January 1870. The circ*mstances leading to Wounded Knee two decades later differed markedly from these earlier engagements. These conflicts involved Indians resisting being placed on reservations. But Wounded Knee involved the Lakotas’ efforts to deal with critical survival issues facing them on their reservations. As people came to understand later, the nonviolent Ghost Dance was only a side issue. As Valentine McGillycuddy explained, “Had these people been well fed the ghost dance would never have been heard of. The dance and its ceremonies was like the voice of a feast to a starving man.... They cried for help from above, all other help having failed.” Wounded Knee, therefore, was not the last of the Indian Wars, as it is frequently called. That distinction rightly belongs to the Apache outbreak preceding Geronimo’s surrender in 1886. Wounded Knee was different. Non-Indian society commonly called Wounded Knee a “battle.” In fact, the only real battle to occur was in each Lakota’s struggle to escape the onslaught and live.




The human loss was incalculable, as was the physical and emotional devastation. Entire families, tiospayes, and tribal societies were disrupted, notably at Cheyenne River and Standing Rock, but also at Pine Ridge, Rosebud and elsewhere. Virtually no one in the small reservation communities escaped the impact. Certainly the Sioux Land Commission and its aftermath, including the rise of the Ghost Dance among the Lakotas, served as a catalyst for what happened. But strategic failure occurred at Pine Ridge Agency in misidentifying a need for troops, resulting in the overreaction that brought them onto the reservations only to aggravate conditions. Questions about the massacre itself loom even larger. No premeditated intent seems to have existed. Indeed plans were in place: t trains were beingg readied to the

move Big Foot’s people to Omaha, Nebraska. The explosive intensity of the violence must in part rest with the inordinate number of untrained troops arrayed in opposition to the Sioux and with Col. James W. Forsyth’s failure to manage his 7th Cavalry command suitably. But the events that followed the initial exchange in the council area remain not only numbingly horrifying, but largely inexplicable. In the hurriedly hurried escalating fog-ofth war scenario, the tactic l critical tactical failure lay in th permitting the Indians to break through the soldier soldi r cordon formed by b Troops B and K. K

The summer before the inexcusable tragedy, on August 9, 1890, Grabill photographed Big Foot’s Miniconjou band, with part of the 8th U.S. Cavalry and 3rd Infantry behind them, at a Grass Dance on or near the Cheyenne River reservation.

The presence of the government school buildings, in front of a small Oglala Lakota tipi camp, speaks multitudes about a subjugated people, living on a reservation not of their making, gunned down by the U.S. Army that had housed them there.

Grabill labeled this photograph: “Famous Battery ‘E’ of 1st Artillery. These brave men and the Hotchkiss gun that Big Foot’s Indians thought were toys, together with the fighting 7th what’s left of Gen. Custer’s boys, sent 200 Indians to that Heaven which the ghost dancer enjoys. This checked the Indian noise and Gen. Miles with staff returned to Illinois.”




The photographs on this page portray “What’s Left of Big Foot’s Band.” By the early 1950s, only 10 or so survivors remained. The most notable of these was Dewey Beard (Iron Hail, the son of Horn Cloud), who had also survived the 1876 Battle of the Little Big Horn; he died, at age 93, in 1955. Louisa Yellow Shield Motley outlived them all, dying at 95, on the Cheyenne River reservation, in 1979. After she died, only the descendants remained.

That collapse of control escalated the conflict at flash speed by redirecting the reacting soldiers’ gunfire into the noncombatants beyond and tilting the ensuing action into a scene of uncontrollable riot. The increasing density of the gun smoke coupled with the excessively lengthy shooting inside and particularly outside the council area aggravated the breakdown. As a result, many more Sioux, especially women and children, were slated to die in and along the big ravine and among subordinate gullies and hillocks as they sought to flee the unfolding slaughter. Forsyth’s actions in distributing his troops preceding the outbreak probably caused inadvertent deaths and injuries to at least leas migh some of his own men. That question might only be answered by exhumation and forensic analysis of their remains. We know the manner in which Wounded Knee occurred. The larger question of why

iit happened at all will probably remain unresolved. It likely could have been avoided with improved communication and greater tolerance and patience all around, unfamiliar concepts at the time when the government sought to impress its control over tribal populations. Historian Walter Camp said it well: “While it was the Indians who were doing the

dancing it was really the whites who saw the ghosts.” This is an edited excerpt from Jerome A. Greene’s Spur-winning American Carnage: Wounded Knee, 1890, published by the University of Oklahoma Press.




By Lynda a. Sánchez

A Brilliant But Doomed Mission

A little - kno w n 1 8 9 5 p la n t o t r ack do w n t h e Apach es co uld h a ve pr e ve n te d m a ny d e a t h s , ch ildr e n in capt iv it y an d ch ao s in t h e bo r de r lan ds .


magine Oklahoma Territory’s Fort Sill in 1895, almost 10 years after the surrender of Geronimo. Imagine Mexico’s Sierra Madre, where hit-and-run attacks by Apaches on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border continued to create chaos. Imagine what we would call today a “Special Ops” assignment, 1895 style, that could have prevented further devastating upheaval and turmoil.

should have because Scott, while serving at Fort Sill as a first lieutenant in the 7th Cavalry, had devised a simple and workable strategy that could have succeeded in capturing the bronco Apaches. He described in his 1928 memoirs precisely what his plan envisioned in 1895. Why was this special operation never carried out by the military?

Threat of Outbreak

Hunting Deer with a Brass Band The Apache Kid and fellow warrior Massai were still on the loose in the late 1800s. Adelnietze and Natculbaye (José María Elias) continued to raid. Apaches attacked and killed Mormon and Mexican ranchers. They stole cattle and welcomed runaways from the reservations. Even roughly a century later, whispers endure, of Apaches living among the narcotraficantes or hiding in plain sight as residents of small rancherías or pueblos. The military had seemingly forgotten how it once tracked the insurgents with Apache scouts, mules and gutsy troopers. United States Army Capt. Hugh L. Scott claimed that, instead of tracking swiftly and striking with deadly force, his soldiers were “hunting deer with a brass band!” Scott’s colorful description of military incompetence, written years after he

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Naiche, the youngest son of Chiricahua Apache Chief Cochise, was among the three Apache leaders who signed on to U.S. Army Capt. Hugh L. Scott’s plan. Photographed here with wife Haozinne, he rode with Geronimo in a number of reservation breakouts, surrendered in 1886 and lived as a prisoner of war in Florida, Alabama and ultimately Fort Sill in Oklahoma. He died on the Mescalero Reservation in New Mexico in 1919. – True WesT Archives –

departed Fort Sill, must have made his military cohorts and Mexican counterparts want to hide under the table. And well they

Scott was well respected by American Indians, and particularly Apaches, as he advocated on their behalf. Having been dispatched to Florida and Alabama hellholes, Apaches were unhappy, dying and miserable. The military ultimately moved them to Fort Sill in Oklahoma. Both Scott and interpreter George Wratten moved with them, helping to set up private enclaves along the creeks and hidden arroyos of that military installation to give the men and their families some semblance of dignity. Even those Apaches perceived as the most warlike had settled down and become good leaders; they kept order and worked hard at hauling hay, raising cattle, growing melons and corn, and learning English. Many of their children had been sent to boarding schools to become “tame” Indians. Geronimo, Naiche, Yanosha, Toclanny, Perico and Kaytennae, among others, seemed to be getting used to this new way of life.

Nevertheless, the fear of the warrior culture, which had caused violence and mayhem in Arizona and New Mexico during the Apache campaigns, prevented any logical discussion about returning Apaches to their homelands anytime soon. These leaders were still in their prime. Should they escape, the military believed war would break out once again. The Apaches ached to see mountains, drink the fresh water from cascading waterfalls, hunt wild turkey, deer and elk, and sit at night talking and smoking together around their campfires. The white man’s rules against the old ways wore thin, but had to be followed. Under such circ*mstances, yearning for one’s homeland and dreaming of a return could become an obsession. When Scott heard about runaways and rumors of possible outbreaks from Fort Sill, he called together a group of Apache leaders. He pointed out to them that if they, or their older children in schools farther east, tried such a move, he would hunt them down and fire upon them. He showed the Apaches that he had equipment, mules and rations for 20 days, should any of them try to escape. He had a map drawn up by a Mescalero that covered the entire gamut of possible

Frederic Remington’s illustration of Apache scouts stopping to plan their next move calls to mind the Apache warriors discussing the special operations plan that U.S. Army Capt. Hugh L. Scott broached at Oklahoma Territory’s Fort Sill in 1895. Remington depicted the final U.S. Army operation against Apache renegades, which took place from April through June 1896, after Apaches killed three American settlers in Arizona. – True WesT Archives –

escape routes to New Mexico. This map, Scott wrote, showed the “trail with all its water holes over the 700 miles to the Mescalero Agency…copies of this map were sent to the department commanders to enable him to cut off the runaways” should that threat ever arise. The problem was that the map pretty much ended at the Mescalero Agency. What about on down into Mexico, into the depths of the old Apache strongholds? Something needed to be done to prevent any such false hope of freedom in joining the Sierra Madre Apaches.

Scott wrote: “When the Apaches first arrived at Fort Sill and several years after the surrender those who had known them in Arizona predicted their escape to old Mexico…that was the common belief.” Ten years later, the fear remained. How to counter that concern was a subject of much discussion.

Trust the Apaches Realizing that all of “his Apaches” were extremely familiar with the Sierra Madre strongholds, Scott knew that chasing the so-called renegades without their help would not be successful. Using Apache scouts prior to 1886 led to the surrender of Geronimo, a lesson some in the military had apparently forgotten. If the three leaders with whom he worked wanted to return to their Southwestern homelands before they became toothless old men, perhaps he could convince them to become part of a strategic plan he was formulating. If this daring plan was accomplished, it would be proof that the Apaches could be trusted citizens and might lessen the burden of their prisoner of war status and continued imprisonment. It would also save innumerable lives.

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TThe eventual ntual violence, capturing of children, death truction of the Apaches could have been and destruction d if U.S. Army Capt. Hugh L. Scott (left) avoided ten his plan approved for an 1895 special had gotten on into the Sierra Madre Mountains. Dozens operation of men,, women and children were killed or maimed 895 through the late 1930s. from 1895 – COURTESY Y FORT SILL NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK AND MUSEUM ARCHIVES –

f free men and have their families ies safe at Fort Sill? They respected Scott and recognized gnized that he was an honorable orable man who had helped ed them in many ways. s. They also knew he would ould not harm innocent women and children. For the journey, Scott intended ended to accompany the three Apache leaders, a ng with 15 officers and along troops. ops. His plan “was to go west on a hunting trip f om Fort Sill, telling no from one of their destinat tion…taking also [Allyn] yn] Capron, [Thomas] Clancy and about 15 officers and sergeants picked for such service and boarding a train somewhere in the Southwest.... [Henry] Lawton agreed to have supplies and a pack train waiting for us at Fort Bowie, Arizona and we would start out ostensibly to hunt,

moving slowly outside the foothills of the Sierra Madre in old Mexico, chasing deer and small game.” They were to allow the scouts time to examine the trails and to track anyone they felt was part of the renegade band into their strongholds. However, they were not to go into the camps. They were to return to the troops, unseen. Then the three Apaches would lead them to within a night’s ride of the outlaw camps, surrounding the renegades before daybreak, bringing surprise on their side. No doubt the preference was to bring the Apache broncos in peacefully. But would they surrender without a fight? The team was more than well armed, and apparently Scott had no qualms about who would have the upper hand.

Scott submitted his plan first to Col. Henry Ware Lawton, inspector general, who in turn Plan of Action Foiled sent it to Gen. Nelson Miles. Both approved the plan. No doubt Miles was aware of the Scott traveled to Washington, D.C. to depredations, even after he and his troops follow through with this plan. Everyone supposedly ended the Apache Wars. was on edge, hoping for a quick approval Scott discussed his from Mexican Minister clever and succinct plan Matías Romero. Then the with his three head plan was blown to hell. Apaches: Naiche, Toclanny Romero “refused to allow and Kaytennae. They agreed us to enter Mexico unless to his terms, almost surprison a hot trail within certain ingly, since his proposal limits of the Border, as laid included holding their famidown in a treaty with lies essentially as hostages Mexico,” Scott wrote. to ensure their loyalty not Those limits did not to escape. include the region that was Why the leaders agreed crucial to the operation. And any “hot pursuit” so willingly is puzzling. would have alerted the Scott was the Indah (white man) whom they had to renegades, adding fuel to obey while they were still the fire of angry, displaced and resentful enemies. POWs. Did they think they could escape and later One can just imagine the retrieve their families? Did This summer brush arbor shelter was less permanent than most and probably extreme disappointment of built during the Apache Wars when the Apaches did everything in haste. they believe at least they, all those involved. Some – ALL IMAGES COURTESY LYNDA A. SÁNCHEZ/EVE BALL COLLECTION UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED – may have thought about as warriors, could live like




crossing the border without permission, much as they had always done. We will never know for sure the backroom scenarios that foiled the plan, but this one could have saved lives and created goodwill among citizens of both nations. Naiche, Toclanny and Kaytennae, three prominent warriors, could have been credited with their assistance to the military and been pardoned. If the operation had been approved by Mexican officials, then the many killings, raids and anxiety that kept the borderlands in turmoil for at least another 40 years could have all been avoided. But fate had the last laugh. Through official Mexican intransigence, a precious opportunity to end Apache raids was lost forever to the mists of time. Lynda A. Sánchez researches Apache history, legend and lore, following the footsteps of her mentor, Eve Ball. She is revising a soon-to-be-published manuscript about the lost Apaches. Material for this article comes from Angie Debo’s Geronimo: The Man, His Time, His Place and Hugh L. Scott’s Some Memories of a Soldier.

These Apaches ran cattle at Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma. This was one of U.S. Army Capt. Hugh L. Scott’s dreams, to have Apache warriors become good stockmen, and they did. Apache cattle sold for premium prices.

The Fenn Brothers in a 1924 photo represented yet another group searching for Apaches in Mexico’s Sierra Madre, southern Arizona and New Mexico. (From left) Joe, Moroni, Alvah and Pete.

Chief Chihuahua was one of the most recalcitrant of the Apaches surrendering in 1886. His son Eugene (far left) and Watson Mithlo (next to him) became Apache prisoners of war who worked closely with U.S. Army Capt. Hugh L. Scott to close the warrior mode of living by filling the gap with horse and cattle work.




The Apache Captive In April 1932, Mexican cowboy Aristeo García was a foreman at Rancho 31 (Los Laureles), a ranch owned by Americans Jack Rowe and Jack Harris and their Mexican partner Ramon Hurtado. Rancho 31 was located near Nácori Chico, Sonora, in Mexico, about 75 miles south of Douglas, Arizona. García was trailing stolen cattle when he saw smoke that could indicate an Apache camp. He returned with vaqueros from the ranch. When they rode into the camp, García shot an elderly woman who had run out with a three-year-old girl. He first claimed he had shot the woman to get the $50 bounty; the governor of Sonora had announced Apaches could be shot on sight to right the wrong of María Fimbres’s murder and the kidnapping of hers and Francisco’s threeyear-old son, Gerardo, by a group of Sierra Madre Apaches in October 1927. García later claimed he was afraid the woman would warn other Apaches possibly camped nearby.

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Jack and Dixie Harris adopted the captured Apache girl (above) and called her Carmela. In the only interview Carmela ever gave, to anthropologist Helge Ingstad, in 1938, she revealed her Apache name was Bui, which translated to Owl Eyes. Jack, a former stuntman, and Dixie, who had worked for film producer David O. Selznick, moved with Carmela near Tujunga Canyon, north of Hollywood in California, so Dixie could give birth to daughter Ann. Carmela, who had contracted polio, was a sickly child, so both girls were homeschooled. When Carmela was captured, she wore a little bag around her neck filled with a deck of leather cards. While Dixie was head of research in Selznick’s office, she reportedly had the cards included in John Ford’s 1956 film, The Searchers. Perhaps these were the cards used by the hombre playing solitaire in the Futterman’s Trading Post scene?

In front of the schoolhouse in Nácori Chico, Sonora, Mexico, in 1931, this group of mounted riders were getting ready to leave for yet another ride after the Apaches who had murdered María Fimbres and kidnapped her three-year-old son in 1927. Revenge or la venganza was the mode of the day.

Carmela attended college and became a nurse. She had a horrific scare in 1972, while lighting a gas oven at home with a match. Flames enveloped her, and she underwent months of painful skin grafts. No doubt this tragic experience brought back terrible memories of her childhood and the burning camp. After this scare, and with Jack dead for 10 years, Dixie finally retired from the movie business; she moved to Italy with Carmela to join Ann and her family. In her mid-40s, Carmela died, in Rome, in 1976. Her buckskin dress and other artifacts from her Apache life were wrapped in a tanned cowhide and hidden away in a trunk. Lynda A. Sánchez will tell the rest of that story in her upcoming book on the lost Apaches.

These vaqueros stopped off to secure food in a deer hunt during their expedition seeking Carmela’s Apache band in July 1932. Aristeo García had already captured Carmela, that April, while he was out looking for stolen cattle. Jack Rowe (standing on the far right), partner and Rancho 31 financier along with Jack Harris and Ramon Hurtado, furnished this photo to the author.





Contention City got the railroad before Tombstone...and only died out because of a fluke.

The 1879 feud between Edward Schieffelin (left) and two prospectors over a silver lode inspired the Contention City name. – ALL IMAGES TRUE WEST ARCHIVES –

Contention City played a major role in the growth of southern Arizona at a time when the territory needed it most. An accidental stumble started it all. In 1879, prospectors Ed Williams and Jack Friday were searching for their missing mules. The chains their mules had dragged behind them scraped away the dirt and unearthed streaks of silver, gleaming in the morning sunlight. But, unbeknownst to them, Ed Schieffelin was camped out a short distance away. Schieffelin, who was prospecting the unsettled hills of “Goose Flats,” had already uncovered the lure that would draw thousands to this place only previously




wn to the Chiricahua known A ches and a few soldiers Apaches at Camp Huachuca. Camped out in the same area as Williams and Friday, with viously staked claims to previously veral other nearby mines, several S hieffelin disputed the Schieffelin wnership to the newfound ownership ver lode. One can only silver sume these prospectors assume xchanged an abundance exchanged off ill-tempered words over he find. So much that the Schieffelin, after the claim was split, called his mine he “Contention,” a tribute the o the dispute of the claim. to The river gave Contention City its location. Ten miles from the Tombstone Mining District, the San Pedro was the closest source of water for supporting the stamping mills, which separated the silver from the ore. With the construction of the Contention Mill, the city grew into a mining camp along the eastern bank, bringing with it fortune hunters, gamblers, whiskey peddlers and other colorful characters of the day. Supporting the vision of enterprising entrepreneurs, including D.T. Smith and John McDermott, Contention City was destined for greatness. In September 1879, Smith and McDermott mapped out the town and sold the lots within a week. By early 1880, Contention City had a post office, a hotelrestaurant, a Chinese laundry, one saloon, a meat market, a dry goods store and its

first school. Soon, three large stamp mills served the Tombstone mines, together employing almost 100 men. By 1881, Contention City was in full swing. Despite Tombstone’s own early rapid growth, the railroad was built in Contention City instead of Tombstone. A two-story train depot was built a little farther up the San Pedro River, where the residents relocated the city, packing up and taking the buildings with them. The first trains arrived in January 1882, bringing oyster shipments, mainstream Paris fashions for the ladies and other luxury items from afar. More than 20 years passed before the railroad reached its sister city of Tombstone in 1903. Contention City wasn’t immune from the lawlessness of the “cowboy” faction of southern Arizona. Although their exploits gained little notoriety in this new

John Clum survived an assassination attempt in Contention City in 1881; in the late 1920s, he visited the O.K. Corral site (above) in Tombstone, the mining town that, unlike Contention City, outlived the bust because it was the Cochise County seat.

Contention City was booming in the 1880s, with businesses that included a Wells Fargo Express office and Mason’s Western Hotel, both photographed by Carleton Watkins during his visit in the spring of 1880.

town, some incidents were as colorful as classic Western movie shoot-outs. These included the pursuit of the robbing and murderous Jack Taylor Gang by both the Mexican Rurales and Arizona law enforcement, particularly Sheriff John Slaughter. Slaughter’s posse tracked the outlaws to gang member Manuel Robles’s brother’s home in Contention City. They waited to raid the house until the residents were asleep. Thinking this would be an easy capture, the lawman was surprised by the hail of gunfire from inside the house! Perhaps the best-known Contention City tale is the Benson stagecoach robbery that took place just outside of town on March 15, 1881. Through a coerced confession by a drunken “Big Nose” Kate Elder, Sheriff John Behan used the opportunity to arrest John Henry “Doc” Holliday and charge him with the murder of stage driver Eli “Bud” Philpot. Holliday was soon cleared of all charges when Elder sobered up. John Clum found solace at the town’s Grand Central Mill on the night of December 14, 1881, when he dodged a near-assassination attempt. After an ambush on his stagecoach, he set out on foot through the darkness until he reached the mill. From there, he made a phone call back to Tombstone around 1:00 am. Yes, Arizona had telephones between the mills in Contention City to the Gird Block in Tombstone as early as 1881. In March 1882, George Hand stepped off the train at the Contention City depot. He had traveled from Tucson with a diary tucked inside his coat pocket. Hand was

in Contention City to help out a U.S. Army buddy, Billy Bradley, with his new venture in the saloon business. Somewhat to Contention City what George Parsons was for Tombstone, Hand recorded in his diary the people and events of the town. The day after Hand’s arrival, he wrote of the cowboys riding in on Friday, March 24, fully armed and prowling through town. The cowboys he saw, if they were indeed part of Sheriff Behan’s posse, were tracking down famous Tombstone lawman Wyatt Earp and his crew. Hand, who was in Tucson just days earlier, witnessed the body of Frank Stilwell—who Earp was suspected of killing to avenge brother Morgan’s murder—as he lay dead on the train tracks. “He was the most shot up man I ever saw,” Hand reported. On April 10, 1882, Hand was present when Gen. William Tec*mseh Sherman arrived by train. On his way to Tombstone, Sherman was on an inspection tour to address concerns surrounding renegades from the San Carlos Apache Reservation. On May 30, Hand reported that he accompanied Judge A.O. Wallace and Bill Bradley (along with Hand’s favorite dog, Rip) on a visit to the graves of the late Co. E.A. Rigg and William Petty. He carried a big basket of flowers to decorate their graves. If not for the writings of those like Hand, no records of the people of Contention City or their time there would have survived. Unfortunately, Contention City had but one source of revenue. When that ended, so did the town, much like flowers in

tthee spring sprang up with the omise of tomorrow, but promise w lted with the first frost of wilted ffall. ll. Flooding in the Tombstone m nes brought an early demise mines tto Contention City. When the m nes were forced to close mines d wn, the town’s stamp mills down, w nt silent. Workers and went residents packed up and left, forcing the post office to close its doors on November 26, 1888. Two years later, the productive and booming city had turned into a mere ghost town. Its time spanned only a decade. Tombstone managed to survive because it was the Cochise County seat, and it remained so until 1929. No landmarks remain in Contention City today, save the foundations of the mills, a few overturned headstones of a small cemetery and a pile of rocks perched near an old adobe wall. Hollywood deserves credit for keeping Contention City alive. The movie 3:10 to Yuma with Glenn Ford, and later Russell Crowe, portrayed a small-time rancher escorting an outlaw to the Contention City depot for the train to Yuma Territorial Prison. Real-life events inspired the movies too. Ike Clanton, still seeking revenge on Earp and Holliday for Tombstone’s infamous 1881 O.K. Corral gunfight, petitioned for a trial in Contention City, after Earp and Holliday were found not guilty in Tombstone. Of course, no trial transpired, but that didn’t stop the 1993 blockbuster movie Tombstone from again exposing Contention City to the world. The mining ghost town may be just another lost town of Arizona, but in the heart of every Old West historian, Contention City will live forever. Kevin Hogge is the author of Jackson’s Revenge and Tale of a Gunfighter. Cindy Smith is the coauthor of Time in Contention, author of the “Cowboy World” children’s book series and a Western Music Association singer- songwriter.




august 24, 1877

T he N ude d uel ThaT W ill N oT d ie Prostitutes Bang away notorious narcissist nicked in neck

A topless madam squares off to shoot. What’s not to like? – IllustratIons by bob boze bell –

By BoB Boze Bell Maps & Graphics by Gus Walker Based on the research of Clark Secrest

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wild picnic is in progress just outside the city limits of Denver, Colorado. Notorious brothel owner Mattie Silks is among the party crowd. She is with her “kept man,” Corteze Thomson, a handsome, fleet-footed gambler. After numerous rounds of drinking games and bawdy fun, Silks notices a voluptuous business rival, Katie Fulton, displaying an extreme amount of affection toward her man. Words are exchanged, and threats are made. Neither soiled dove backs down. A duel is suggested and agreed to, with Thomson acting as Silks’s second and Sam Thatcher as a second for Fulton. Pistols are produced. To facilitate better aim, both women strip to the waist. In classic dueling fashion, the two women step off the required paces, turn and fire. In the twilight, a cry is heard, and a body falls to the ground. Everyone rushes forward through the billowing gunsmoke to see which queen of the demimonde is still standing. To the crowd’s surprise, both prostitutes are still on their feet. Thomson, however, writhes on the ground with a bullet in his neck. Great story, except for one problem: It didn’t happen. Here’s the real story: A half-dozen of the “sporting crowd” are celebrating Thomson’s stunning win against the noted Sam Doherty in a 125-yard foot race. With at least $2,000 in winnings (which Silks had personally bet on Thomson), the revelry begins in earnest. By evening, Thomson, Silks, Fulton, her “friend” Thatcher and possibly two others have ended up on the banks of the South Platte River, drinking at the spot that The Rocky Mountain News bemoans is a “resort for fast men and for fast women.”

Although the cause is unknown, an argument ensues between Silks and Fulton. Thomson steps between the two and punches Fulton in the face, knocking her down. Thatcher tries to protect Fulton from further attack, but he is decked. As Fulton tries to fight her assailant, she is knocked down a second time. A kick in the face breaks her nose. In the melee, Thomson pulls a pistol, which someone jostles loose from his grip, and it falls in the grass. The fight breaks up, and the bleeding, disheveled combatants stagger to their respective carriages and head toward town. Beyond Olympic Park, a carriage draws up beside Thomson’s carriage. A shot is fired, and Silks’s man is grazed in the neck. Thomson survives—end of story. The assailant’s carriage contains Fulton and Thatcher, firing from the pistol that Cort dropped in the grass. So what is the source of the duel story? Two newspapers report the park altercation: The Denver Times and The Rocky Mountain News. Both newspapers agree the altercation was not a duel, but one paper refers to the periphery partisans as “seconds.” Fast forward to 1939, when Forbes Parkhill writes a book, The Wildest of the West. He pounces on the word “seconds,” which is often applied to persons who assist or support another in a duel. The legend of the duel is spawned from Parkhill’s book. Numerous writers have kept the saga alive ever since. Clark Secrest, the former editor of Colorado Heritage, says, “Every year The Rocky Mountain News publishes the Mattie Silks duel story, and every year we write to them that it never happened, and every year they run a retraction. The story will probably never die.”

Aftermath: Odds & Ends Katie Fulton left Denver, Colorado, on the next train bound for Kansas City, Missouri, but she soon returned. On September 3, 1877, she had another confrontation with Mattie Silks, who decked Fulton once again, reinjuring her nose. After the fight, Madam Fulton left for good.

Denver’s first drive-by shooting takes place as Mattie Silks and Corteze Thomson make their way “home” after the fight at Olympic Park. A carriage pulls alongside theirs, and a shot is fired. The madam’s man is hit in the neck.

The altercation took place at Olympic Park, which is today called Confluence Park. The park now has extensive bike paths and picnic areas.

Silks and Corteze Thomson (various writers misspell his surname as “Thompson”) had a stormy union, but she stuck with him for 30 years. By all accounts, he was a no-good drunk.



Thomson continued to race, although he was arrested for throwing a foot race in August 1880. (Perhaps his legs were beginning to deteriorate.) Silks supported him through several of her fortunes and periodically sent him to dry out at a cattle ranch she owned near Wray, Colorado. He died in a Wray hotel on April 10, 1900.

Recommended: Hell’s Belles: Prostitution, Vice and Crime in Early Denver by Clark Secrest, published by the University Press of Colorado

The short and “Rubenesque” Mattie Silks (shown in 1880) will marry three times (Corteze Thomson is her second husband), but she will later claim Thomson was her first love. She dies on January 7, 1929, at age 83 (assuming her birth year was 1846), leaving $4,000 in real estate and $2,500 in jewelry. – True WesT Archives –

Katie Fulton


Herding with the Wind BOB LEMMONS

Mustanger Bob Lemmons became expert at rounding up wild horses, for profit and personal use, from the herds that roamed across Texas and the West after the Civil War – COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

HE was standing there, as was his horse,

Warrior, but both were invisible between the flashes. Shrieking winds cut the rolling grasslands into rivulets of swirling vegetation while crackling lightning snapped like great bullwhips of fire across the horizon. A lone lanky figure stalked the nervous herd from a nearby hilltop. Rain-soaked, hair smeared with mud and sagebrush, renowned mustanger Bob Lemmons used the herd’s fear of an approaching storm to drive the leaderless mares and colts into a down-range holding pen, with neither horse nor cowboy hurt in the roundup. In the pre-Civil War days sometime around 1847, Lemmons was born into slavery in Lockport, Caldwell County, Texas. On the eve of the Civil War, the 1860 census recorded the town’s population as 2,871 and a separate slave population of 1,610. His given name is known only to his deceased mother because while still a youth,




Bob took a variant of the last name of his employer, Duncan Lammons. At age 17, after being liberated from slaveholder John English at the end of the Civil War, Bob was hired to work Lammons’s ranch property along the Rio Grande at Eagle Pass. Lemmons mustanged in Dimmit County in southwest Texas, tough country along the Rio Grande nicknamed the Wild Horse Desert. The young cowboy learned the techniques of “brush ranching” and mustanging in the barely inhabited county that was overrun with feral horses. These horses were in high demand as cowboy mounts for roundups during the cattle drives of the 1870s and 1880s. Lemmons quickly become a legendary mustanger by perfecting a unique method for collecting entire herds of wild mustangs. Working alone, Lemmons would silently infiltrate the mustang herd, ride with them day and night, and then abrogate the herd hierarchy by subduing the lead stallion. Once in control of the herd’s direction, he’d lead the mustangs to a nearby pen.

“I grew up with the mustangs…I acted like I was a mustang…made them think I was one of them,” Lemmons explained. Lemmons’s gritty gathering of wild mustangs provided the means to buy his own 1,200-acre ranch. He learned to read and write and married Barbarita Rosales, with whom he had eight children. He later used his considerable stock of horses and cattle to assist his neighbors financially through the nation’s Great Depression. “Lemmons showed how skin color was less important in the West, “says Dr. Mike Searles, professor of history at Georgia Regents University, who has extensively interviewed contemporary black cowboys. “Cowboys judge one another by their skills,” he said, and many of the respected ranch hands in Texas were of African and Mexican descendant. With long white hair, wistful eyes and great gnarled hands that had held the reins of nearly a century of frontier cowboy life and rugged isolation, Bob Lemmons died on December 23, 1947.

“I grew up with the mustangs…I acted like I was a mustang… made them think I was one of them.”

Tom Augherton recommends Black Cowboy, Wild Horses by Julius Lester, with illustrations by Jerry Pinkney, to share with young cowhands, and for all ages, J. Frank Dobie’s The Mustangs.

When Dorothea Lange, on assignment for the WPA Slave Narratives project, took Bob Lemmons’s portrait in August 1936 at his home in Carrizo Springs, Texas, Lemmons claimed to have met Billy the Kid, King Fisher, notable black and Mexican cowboys, and other notorious Western characters. – DoroTheA LANge/CourTeSy LiBrAry oF CoNgreSS –



Following Red Cloud The legendary Oglala Lakota chief was a visionary leader in war and peace.

Oglala Lakota leaders Red Cloud and American Horse posed for their photograph with Buffalo Bill Cody after they attended the showman’s 1897 Wild West performance at Madison Square Garden in New York City. –DF BARRY/COURTESY BRIAN LEBEL AUCTIONS-COTTLE COLLECTION –




cout’s Rest Ranch, known today as Buffalo Bill State Historical Park in North Platte, Nebraska, might seem like an odd place to start a road trip about Lakota leader Red Cloud. But think back… One of the iconic photographs of Buffalo Bill Cody has him posing with Red Cloud, “a warrior without peer,” Robert W. Larson writes in his 1997 biography, “who could not only command the respect of his own people but of his enemies as well.” Granted, that photo was taken more than 1,500 miles east of here, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. In 1897, Red Cloud had traveled to Washington, D.C., to speak on behalf of his people. Afterward, he went to New York to catch Cody’s Wild West show. A number of Lakotas performed with Cody, and some of Cody’s cowboys were in the Lakota family. William “Bronco Bill” Irving had married a Lakota woman and spoke fluent Lakota. William “Billy” Bullock’s father had married a Lakota woman and was a key ally of Red Cloud. Irving and the younger Bullock—and cowboy-interpreterand-sometimes-Deadwood-stagecoach-driver John Y. Nelson, one of Red Cloud’s sons-in-law, would serve as Cody-Lakota liaisons when the Lakotas began traveling with Cody’s show in 1883. Nelson had even served as translator, back when Cody was treading the boards in 1877, when Sword

and Two Bears traveled with the theatrical troupe. Besides, Cody and Red Cloud were a lot alike. Controversial figures. Warriors. Enemies. Maybe even allies and champions of the West. And while Scout’s Rest Ranch— and the home, built in 1886—is a beautiful place to visit, North Platte offers something else.

The Nebraska Years It’s not that far from Garden County, where Red Cloud was born in May 1821 on Blue Water Creek, near where General William S. Harney’s troops would fight the Lakotas at Ash Hollow in 1855 in what is now called “The First Sioux War.” The battlefield is on private property, but nearby Ash Hollow State Historical Park was used by Indians in prehistoric times long before white travelers often stopped there along the Overland Trail. So that’s about as close as we can get to Red Cloud’s birthplace. Red Cloud’s father, Lone Man, discovered whiskey from white traders and, an alcoholic, died in 1825. Red Cloud would speak out against alcohol all his life and insisted that he never drank himself. While he would come of age and become a legend in Wyoming, he spent many years—some of them controversial—in Nebraska, so we need to stop at Fort Robinson State

A week after he had met with President Ulysses S. Grant in Washington, D.C., Red Cloud advocated for the fair treatment of his tribe to a supportive audience at the Cooper Union in New York City on June 16, 1870.

Park, a sprawling, picturesque park that includes Army buildings (where you can spend the night), buffalo (which you can also eat) and the Red Cloud Agency. After Red Cloud and others signed the Treaty of 1868 at Fort Laramie, the Red Cloud Agency was established in 1871, first near Henry, Nebraska, and in 1873 near Crawford. In 1874, the Army began construction on what would become Fort Robinson. Red Cloud didn’t care much for the fort. He liked things even less when Crazy Horse came there in 1877.


In April 1877, Red Cloud left the reservation with 80 Lakotas to persuade Crazy Horse to surrender, but once the dynamic Lakota leader had joined the agency, Red Cloud, Spotted Tail and other Lakotas grew jealous. That September, according to one accepted account, Red Cloud met with Gen. George

Little Bighorn Ba ttlefield 90


N Area of Detail

Fort Phil Kearn y 90

South Dakota


Black Hills National Forest 16 385 25

Custer State Pa rk

Wyoming 18


Pine Ridge 87

Wounded Knee

Fort Robinson



Red Cloud Agency was established here in 1873 for Chief Red Cloud and his Oglala band, as well as for other northern plains Indians, totaling nearly 13,000. During the Indian war of 1876, the agency served as the center for non-hostiles. After the treaty ceding the Black Hills to the U.S. was signed here in 1876, and the death of Crazy Horse in 1877, the agency was relocated to the Pine Ridge Agency, Dakota Territory.

Following Red Cloud 0 510 20

40 60 Scale in Miles map by

Fort Laramie

Nebraska 385

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Ash Ho State Historical llow Park North Platte




Visitors isitors to Casper, Wyoming, can tour Fort Caspar Museum, including e barracks, which the WPA the constructed in the 1930s reconstructed a as a living history center, e of the best frontier one enactment museums in re-enactment the West. – COURTESY OURTESY FORT CASPAR MUSEUM –

Red Cloud’s involvement in Crazy Horse’s death is debated, but that he was jealous of the Oglala warrior is well documented. So reading the marker in front of the reconstructed guardhouse at Fort Robinson State Historical Park in Nebraska doesn’t take long. The marker reads (sic): ON THIS SPOT, CRAZY HORSE, OGALLALA CHIEF WAS KILLED SEPT. 5, 1877. – JOHNNY D. BOGGS –

All told, Red Cloud would makee it to D.C. more than 20 m ttimes. s. The man got around. Crook and others. Everyone agreed that Crazy Horse should be killed. The plot didn’t pan out, but two days later Crazy Horse was bayoneted in the back by a soldier and died. With Crazy Horse out of the picture, Red Cloud was back on top. Three weeks later, he joined an Indian delegation to meet with President Rutherford B. Hayes in Washington.

Red Cloud in Wyoming He especially got around in Wyoming, where he was less controversial, and mostly victorious. Although he reluctantly signed the Fort Laramie Treaty in the fall of 1868, Red Cloud did not arrive at the post until the following spring. It was quite a show.

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The memorial to William Fetterman and his men was erected on the site of Fort Phil Kearny in 1908. “There were no survivors,” reads the last sentence. Indians would argue otherwise. – JOHNNY D. BOGGS –

The post commander awoke to find Red Cloud and hundreds of warriors on the parade grounds, their families watching from a distance. The Army quickly tried to match the Lakotas’ show of force. Hours passed before the commander sent a message to the Indians, inquiring what they wanted. Red Cloud’s answer: “We want to eat.” The “grand old post,” Fort Laramie, now a National Historic Site, remains one of the best-preserved Army posts in the West. Originally a trading post established in 1834, the Army would not arrive until 1849, and the post would remain active until 1890. Red Cloud made his name for himself at another Army post, so I’m off to Casper. Platte Bridge Station had been established across the North Platte in 1862. After

the Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado in 1864, Indian attacks increased along the westward trails. On July 26, 1865, Cheyennes, led by Roman Nose, and Oglalas, led by Red Cloud, attacked an Army detail sent to escort a supply train into the post. Twenty-six soldiers were killed, perhaps another 10 wounded. One of the dead was Lt. Caspar Collins, so when the post was expanded, it was renamed Fort Casper. Only the soldiers couldn’t spell. In 1936, a Works Progress Administration project reconstructed the fort, and the Fort Caspar Museum still re-creates regional history.

Fetterman’s Fiasco Of course, what really gave Red Cloud his name came the following year at Fort Phil Kearny. The Montana gold strikes sent white settlers through Lakota country, and with Stop. Play. Stay.

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Knight Museum and Sandhills Center On the edge of the Neebraska Sandhills. A Railroad town. A Cow-town. An Ag town. A Where history W runs deep. Largest Genealogy Center in Western Nebraska

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On an Indian delegation trip to Washington, D.C. in 1870, Sioux and Arapahoe Indian leaders sat for their portrait by Matthew Brady: Left to right seated - Red Cloud, Big Road, Yellow Bear, Young Man Afraid of his Horses, Iron Crow; left to right standing Little Bigman, Little Wound, Three Bears, He Dog. – COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

negotiations between whites and Indians ongoing, Col. Henry B. Carrington was ordered to establish forts in the Powder River country. Fort Reno was established near Sussex, Fort Phil Kearny near Buffalo and Fort C.F. Smith in Montana. Capt. William J. Fetterman arrived at Kearny in November and, according to legend, boasted that with 80 men, he could ride through the Sioux Nation. On December 21, sent to relieve a wood-cutting detail under attack, Fetterman got his chance. Leading his 80 men, Fetterman chased a decoy force of 10 Indians over a hill. Some 1,500 Indians waited for them on the other side.

The fight was over in minutes. No Army soldiers survived. And while Minneconjous Lakotas might have taken the initiative, Red Cloud got the glory. Hey, even in the 1860s, folks were calling this Red Cloud’s War. Though the whites prevailed in Hayfield and Wagon Box Fights, a peace was sought. In effect, Red Cloud won. The three forts were abandoned, and then burned by Indians.

The Post-Big Horn Years Red Cloud remained at peace, relatively speaking, with the white men for the rest of his life. He wasn’t at the Little Big Horn, though his son fought there, but he

The mass grave at Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota remains one of the West’s most disturbing historical sites. – JOHNNY D. BOGGS –




- - Side Roads - In 1890, Red Cloud (right) with his wife, Pretty Owl, and an unidentified man were photographed outside his twostory home on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. – W.R. CROSS/COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

Little Big Horn Indian Memorial – JOHNNY D. BOGGS –

PLACES TO VISIT, CELEBRATIONS & EVENTS Places to Visit: Fort Phil Kearney State Historic Site, Banner, WY; National Historic Trails Interpretive Center, Casper, WY; Lou Taubert Ranch Outfitters, Casper; Crazy Horse Memorial, Crazy Horse, SD; Prairie Berry Winery, Hill City, SD; Pine Ridge Visitor Center, Pine Ridge, SD; The Heritage Center, Red Cloud Indian School, Pine Ridge.

Red Cloud rests alongside his wife on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation at the Holy Rosary Mission, which in 1969 was renamed Red Cloud Indian School. – JOHNNY D. BOGGS –

would be there in a 1902 re-enactment, “totally blind and very feeble,” a newspaper reported. The agency moved to the upper Missouri River in 1877 and to the renamed Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota a year later. he of Lakota South Dakota is the heart country today. The land la that includes Black Hills National Nat Forest, Custer State Park, the Mount Rushmore National Nation Memorial and the Crazy Horse Memorial remains claimed by the Lakota. So does Wounded Knee. Knee Red Cloud lost more prestige during the ghost ghos dance troubles of 1890. 189 Brulés kidnapped him for not supporting the dances. He H said d soldier and by he was shot at by soldiers, Indians, and had to walk 16 miles to reach the Army lines. After the Wounded Knee massacre, Red Cloud pretty much retired to his home in Pine Ridge, though he would make one last trip to Washington in 1897. He died on December 10, 1909, and, having converted to Catholicism, was buried at the Holy Rosary Mission cemetery on Pine Ridge. Sixty years later, the mission was renamed Red Cloud Indian School, where the Heritage Center and an annual Indian art show remain highlights in a com-

Celebrations & Events: Nebraskaland Days, North Platte, NE, June 15-25, 2016; Battle of Little Big Horn Re-enactment, Crow Agency, MT, June 24-26, 2016; Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup, Custer State Park, SD, September 30, 2016.

Penny’s Dinner, North Platte, Nebraska – PENNY’S DINER –

Ethnographer Edward Curtis photographed and interviewed the lucid but blind Red C oud at home on the Cloud P ne Ridge Reservation Pine iin 1905. 905. – EDWARD CURTIS/COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

munity ravaged today by poverty, unemployment and alcoholism. Red Cloud’s legacy? Maybe he said it best during one of his visits to Washington in 1889. “When I fought the whites I fought with all my might. When I signed a treaty of peace I meant to do right, and I have often risked my life to keep the covenant.”

Johnny D. Boggs often wears a Lakota bolo, a gift from Lakota historian Joseph M. Marshall III. “If you want to understand the Lakota people,” Boggs says, “read anything and everything by Joe Marshall.”

GOOD EATS & SLEEPS Good Grub: Penny’s Diner, North Platte, NE; Fort Laramie American Grill, Fort Laramie, WY; Cottage Café & Catering, Casper, WY; The Chophouse Restaurant, Gillette, WY; 1881 Bank Coffee House, Custer, SD. Good Lodging: Fort Robinson State Park, Crawford, NE; Ramkota Hotel, Casper, WY; Historic Occidental Hotel, Buffalo, WY; Historic Sheridan Inn, Sheridan, WY; Cedar Pass Lodge, Badlands National Park, Interior, SD.

GOOD BOOKS/FILM & TV Good Books: Autobiography of Red Cloud: War Leader of the Oglalas edited by Eli Paul; Red Cloud: WarriorStatesman of the Lakota Sioux by Robert W. Larson; Red Cloud: Oglala Legend by John D. McDermott; Hundred in the Hand: A Novel by Joseph M. Marshall III. Good Films & TV: Tomahawk (Universal, 1951); “Massacre at Fort Phil Kearney,” Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (NBC, 1966); The Return of a Man Called Horse (United Artists, 1976); Crazy Horse (TNT, 1996); Into the West (TNT, 2005).

S K O BO n r e t s We


My Name is Custer: We are Many

Ann intimate biography of George Armstrong Custer, the tragedies experienced by a Cheyenne woman, the roughest Rough Riders, the conflicted career of a Western actor and a novel of frontier violence.

“The violence that suffused his life shadows ours.”

In his seminal 1950 work, Virgin Land: The American West as Symbol ymbol and Myth Myth, Henry Nash Smith wrote, “The literary development of the Wild Western hero in the second half of the nineteenth century made the divergence between fact and fiction even greater.” Well over a half-century later, George Armstrong Custer’s life remains the literary subject of numerous historians and novelists, drawn to a legacy that is equally heroic and flawed, tragic, violent and, for many, even villainous. In fact, T.J. Stiles, the author of Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America (Alfred A. Knopf, $30), acknowledges the challenge of interpreting the actions of a man who is “one of the best-documented and most-discussed individuals of the nineteenth century.” So what makes the Pulitzer Prize-winning nning author Stiles’s biographical interpretation of Custer significantly different than other recent monographs, including Thom Hatch’s The Last Days of George Armstrong Custer: The True Story of the Battle of Little Bighorn (St. Martin’s, 2015) and According to T.J. Stiles in Custer’s Trials, George Armstrong Custer’s academic and leadership struggles as a West Point cadet foreshadowed his compulsive personality—and future successes and failures on and off the battlefield. – COURTESY NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION –




Author T.J. Stiles provides a detailed analysis of George Custer’s complex last days before his failed—and fatal— pursuit of the Lakota in the Great Sioux War of 1876, which occurred soon after he sat in dress uniform for this final photograph. – COURTESY NATIONAL ARCHIVES –

In Custer’s Trials,, T.J. Stiles provides an intimate portrayal of Elizabeth Bacon Custer’s life before and after George A. Custer’s demise at the Battle of Little Big Horn. – COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

James Robbins’s The Real Custer: From Boy General to Tragic Hero (Regnery, 2014)? Stiles’s biography of the boy-general from Michigan is an intimate history that attempts to peel back 175 years of “Wild Western hero” history, and place Custer’s life in the context of his frontier childhood, his violent and tumultuous military life and, most notably, his family life, his relationships with women, and his narcissistic relationship with politics and fame. As Stiles notes so poignantly: “The violence that suffused his life shadows ours. The ambivalence of his contemporaries is our ambivalence—toward our time as well as theirs. Custer’s story begins with its ending, and it never ends.” In his 1983 essay titled “The American Indian from the Civil War to the Present,” historian Robert Carriker wrote: “No event in the Indian Wars of the United States has attracted more public interest than the Little Big Horn defeat. The personal animosity between Custerphiles and Custerphobes has long colored the literature of this battle. Every facet of Custer’s movements and intentions, the Indian tactics, and the blame

for the events fo e e ts that followed follo ed have ha e been bee examined repeatedly. Regardless of one’s opinion regarding George Armstrong Custer, it should be recognized that this event is a landmark in the history of Indianwhite relations.” Three decades and dozens of Custer/Little Big Horn articles, biographies, academic and popular monographs and syntheses later, Stiles’s work will stand as a singular benchmark in Custer historiography for its interpretations of the general’s professional and personal challenges in the context of 19th-century political, racial, military, gender and family stories. Stiles’s complex analysis of Custer’s life enriches our understanding of events and topics still debated in the 21st century, including icons and heroes of American popular culture. In fact, the true hero of Stiles’s Custer’s Trials is not the iconic general, whom the author describes as “individualistic, romantic and impulsive,” but the survivors, Elizabeth Bacon Custer and Eliza Brown Davison, heroines of war and peace. —Stuart Rosebrook

As the holiday season approaches, it is time to dust off the favorite cookbooks to help plan the big meals for family reunions, large and small. I prize my copy of Chuck Wagon Cookin’ (University of Arizona, $19.95) by rancher and cow camp cook extraordinaire Stella Hughes. Her signature cookbook is more than recipes; it is an excellent source of ranching, chuckwagon and open-range cooking history. Two new Old West cookbooks that should sit on your shelf side-by-side with Hughes’s classic are: The Cowboy’s Cookbook: Recipes and Tales from Campfires, Cookouts, and Chuck Wagons (TwoDot, $14.95) by Western Writers of America president and “Frontier Fare” columnist Sherry Monahan was recently published. Her knowledge and love of Western cooking has produced a fun book to read and cook from. As she says, “History is so much easier to digest if you can taste it.” Professional “ranch cookie” Kent Rollins and his wife, Shannon Keller Rollins, wrote the best-selling A Taste of Cowboy: Ranch Recipes and Tales from the Trail (Houghton Mifflin, $30). It’s informative and the recipes are easy to use. The couple owns the Red River Ranch Dutch Oven Cooking Camp in Hollis, Oklahoma, and Kent shares stories of a lifetime of working as a chuckwagon cook. —Stuart Rosebrook




Mochi’s War provides a detailed account of (left to right) Medicine Water and Mochi in prison at Fort Marion in San Augustine, Florida, from May 1875 to April 1878. – COURTESY STATE ARCHIVES OF FLORIDA, FLORIDA MEMORY –

TRAGEDY ON THE SOUTHERN PLAINS Mochi’s War: The Tragedy of Sand Creek by Chris Enss and Howard Kanzanjian (TwoDot, $16.95) is a fresh look at one of the most sordid episodes in United States

history—the 1864 massacre of a peaceful band of Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians in Colorado Territory. Chief Black Kettle flew the American flag, thinking this ensured their safety. It did not, nor did the white flag he raised. While government acted to prevent further outrages against peaceful Indians, one survivor of the massacre was not satisfied and vowed revenge. Mochi, a young Cheyenne woman who lost her mother, father and husband, fought savagely thereafter against the whites. This is Mochi’s story. Sympathy for her loss will be tempered

The Lives of Robert Ryan by J.R. Jones details the stormy career of the film star who often played conflicted heroes, including the controversial bounty hunter, anti-hero Deke Thornton in director Sam Peckinpah’s groundbreaking 1969 epic film, The Wild Bunch. – COURTESY FRANKLIN JARLETT COLLECTION –

“A Real Page-Turner” “ The story kept me interested until the end, a real page-turner. It’s an enjoyable western. Highly recommended.” —Historical Novel Society hhhhh

This is author Lee Martin’s exciting novel that served as the basis for Lee’s screenplay and hit Hallmark Movie Channel western movie Shadow on the Mesa, which won a Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. hhhhh

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“A rousing western made for television that harkens back to the classic westerns of yesteryear... pays homage to classic westerns like Red River, Shane and Rio Bravo.” —Movie Guide

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Jerome Tuccille dramatically describes in The Roughest Riders the logistical challenges the Rough Riders had to overcome in Tampa, Florida, in May 1898, including the basics—rations, supplies and a transport ship to Cuba. – COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

by reading of the atrocities in which she participated. The book ends with a comment on the founding of the Sand Creek Massacre Historic Site and bits of oral history from survivors of the massacre. —Harlan Hague, author of The People

THE RELUCTANT HERO N b d else Nobody l seethed th d like the great A erican character American actor or Robert Ryan. In more ore than 75 films, including cluding The Naked S ur, Bad Day at Spur B ack Rock and The Black Wild ild Bunch Bunch, Ryan was as fatalistic at best, enraged at worst— God’s angry man. It

was a 180-degree deviation from his off-screen devotion to liberal pacifist causes, including a progressive school he co-founded with his Quaker wife and largely financed. J.R. Jones’s scrupulous, well-researched biography, The Lives of Robert Ryan (Wesleyan University Press, $30), documents where the rage came from: Ryan was Black Irish, Catholic, alcoholic, with a large gap between his ambition and what he believed to be his accomplishments. Also, one suspects, there was the matter of living up to his wife’s expectations. —Scott Eyman, author of John Wayne: Life and Legend

TEDDY’S ROUGHEST RIDERS Jerome Tuccille’s book titled The Roughest Riders: The Untold Story of the Black Soldiers in the Spanish American War (Chicago Review Press, $26.95) reveals that Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders were not as rough as the Buffalo Soldiers’ 9th and 10th Cavalry and 24th and 25th Infantry. The Roughest Riders highlights key battles of the Spanish American War with the immediacy of an




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FLINT HILLS FOLKLORIST JIM HOY: A LIFE DEFINED BY THE GREAT PLAINS Jim Hoy, Emporia State University’s director of the Center for Great Plains Studies, is a native of the Kansas Flint Hills. Recently retired from teaching English at Emporia State, Hoy has dedicated his life “to documenting and celebrating the lives of his fellow plains folk, seeking out the extraordinary in the ordinary while encouraging pride of region in those fortunate few who dwell on the Great Plains, and an understanding of region in those who must live elsewhere.” Hoy, who also ranches near Cassoday, Kansas, has published a weekly newspaper column, “Plains Folk,” with Tom Isern since 1983, and 16 books, including most recently, Cowboy’s Lament: A Life on the Open Range Being the Adventures of Frank Maynard on the Southwestern Plains 1870-1880. According to Hoy, “the Great Plains area has evolved from its aboriginal nomadic inhabitants through the transience of the open-range cowboy and pioneer farmer to today’s contemporary crop agriculture.” The following books are ones he finds essential in understanding the stages of this historical progress

1 Black Elk Speaks: The Complete Edition The Jensen family is in for a Christmas they’ll never forget.

(John G. Neihardt, Bison Books): Essentially a byproduct of his research for his epic poems Song of the Indian Wars and Song of the Messiah, Neihardt’s interviews with Oglala holy man Black Elk resulted in a book that takes the Plains Indian from his cultural high point to the despairing depths of Wounded Knee.

2 Little Big Man: A Novel (Thomas Berger, The Winchester Series

Dial Press): A valiant attempt at the Great American Novel, Little Big Man views the Plains Indian through a comic lens, whereas Berger’s Black Elk Speaks provides a tragic perspective. Together, the two books examine the great cultural genocide upon which America was founded.

3 The Log of a Cowboy: A Narrative of Out on the American frontier, every gun has a story.

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the Old Trail Days (Andy Adams, Houghton Mifflin): Although a novel, this book not only reads like nonfiction (allowing for the

literary license of inventing a non-existent river in western Kansas), but provides the best account of what it was like to trail longhorn cattle back in the days of the open range.

4 We Pointed Them North: Recollections of a Cowpuncher (E.C. “Teddy Blue” Abbott with Helena Huntington Smith, Farrar & Rinehart): Teddy Blue’s life story pulls no punches. His account of the difficulties of cowboy life on the northern plains, along with the lack of Victorian sugar-coating, is compelling. The cowboy as our popular culture folk hero evolved from memoirs like this one.

5 Sod and Stubble: The Unabridged and Annotated Edition edited by Von Rothenberger (John Ise, University Press of Kansas): The manifestation of the Jeffersonian ideal of the American farmer is explicitly embodied in the sod-house frontier lives of the Ise family on the High Plains of Kansas. There is no better account of the pioneer farming experience.

eyewitness. While the title suggests an exclusive account of black soldiers in the Spanish American War, actually, the author details a narrative that begins with the Civil War and extends to General Colin Powell’s 1992 dedication of the Buffalo Soldier Monument at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. —Michael N. Searles, co-editor with Bruce A. Glasrud of Buffalo Soldiers in the West: A Black Soldiers Anthology

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A nihilistic frontier of gang violence, vigilantism and capital crimes during and after the Civil War permeates Clifford Jackman’s Western noir novel The Winter Family. – COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

COLD HEART, JUST REWARDS Clifford Jackman’s remarkably assured historical novel, The Winter Family (Doubleday, $25.95), recounts the exploits of a gang of former union soldiers turned outlaws in the years following the Civil War. r. Led by the charismatic, atic, golden-eyed Augustus gustus Winter, whose devotion to violence olence approaches thee mystical, the “Winter Winter Family” flees from om certain court martial at the end of the war and heads west. The family quickly builds a reputation for savagery, gery, from busting heads during a vicious Chicago election, to collecting Apa che scalps in the Arizona Territory. As it must, Jackman’s meditation on violence and the dark recesses of human nature owes a debt to Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, but it simmers with a potency all its own. —Patrick Millikin, editor of Phoenix Noir

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By Allen BArrA

The Human Custer

An interview with T.J. Stiles, author of the latest George Custer tome, Custer’s Trials.

Allen Barra: You wrote in your preface, “Custer battled American Indians ruthlessly, yet wrote that he would resist too were he one of them.” His attitude reflects empathy toward Plains Indians, yet he has been reviled unmercifully by a modern generation of Indian writers, including Vine Deloria Jr., author of Custer Died for Your Sins, who called him the “Adolf Eichmann of the Plains.” Why did you take this stance? T.J. Stiles: I try to understand Custer as a human being, in all his complexity and contradictions. The quote you cite does reflect empathy, but it comes from an essay in which he concluded that Indians were by nature savage, unable to become civilized. It was a pattern with him. As he did with African Americans, he often showed respect, even affection, for Indians on a personal level, but whenever he considered them on a political or intellectual level, he fell back into bigotry. Was this typical for a white American of his day? Certainly. As for Deloria comparing him to Eichmann, that’s a deliberate provocation to draw our attention to the devastation of Native America. Custer never called for the extermination of American Indians and played no role in making federal policy or even military strategy. As a general rule, I refrain from equating other historical wrongs with the Holocaust. I think it pits victims against each other in a kind of atrocity sweepstakes. Much of Custer’s negative press is due to his Wash*ta Valley campaign. Was Custer’s performance at Wash*ta vastly different than the U.S. Army’s treatment of the Plains Indians? At the Wash*ta, I believe that Custer’s actions were well within the contemporary

t r u e


w e st

typical in this setting; [Maj. Eugene A.] Carr’s assault on the Dog Soldiers’ camp at Summit Springs produced a similar death tally. That’s not a defense of such tactics, but it places Custer in context.

standards of the frontier Army, but he cannot escape some moral culpability. As Jerome A. Greene points out in his definitive study, the attack on a sleeping village at dawn was a classic frontier tactic. It emerged in response to a strategic dilemma: In a Plains Indian war, the Army had to seize control of an entire population that had a huge advantage in mobility, except in winter. An attack on a village both pinned down the fighting men and put the noncombatants directly in the Army’s power. In terms of Custer’s personal guilt or innocence, I largely agree with Greene. In the assault, we have testimony that Custer sought to protect women and children. But he knew ahead of time that women and children would die in the attack. And he carried out [Maj. Gen. Philip] Sheridan’s order to bring no Cheyenne men back alive. In any other setting, the Army would have considered both the order and its execution to be an atrocity, but the Wash*ta was sadly

Custer’s critics have blamed him for the deaths of Maj. Joel Elliott and his detachment at Wash*ta. Do you agree? Chief scout Ben Clark said that Custer knew nothing of Elliott’s decision to ride off with a small detachment— though [Capt. Frederick] Benteen tried to get Clark to swear that Custer had ordered Elliott to go. Elliott may have been killed before Custer even realized he was gone. Clark, who strikes me as fair-minded, concluded that Custer faced a real threat as warriors from the main camp surrounded the regiment. Stopping to conduct a major search could have endangered the entire command. Custer had valid concerns regarding the danger to his supply wagons, which he badly needed, his steadily shrinking ammunition reserves and the risk of remaining in place overnight. Yes, he could have done more to search for Elliott, but not without risk, and I doubt he could have saved him. By contrast, I think Custer clearly deserves blame for abandoning two men on his infamous ride to [wife] Libbie in 1867. One editor wrote, “General Custer wields the pen almost as skillfully as he does the sword.” Are Custer’s books worth reading today? Worth reading? Definitely. The best reading? Much of the time, no, though some of it is quite rewarding. And, to pose the question I ask in the book, was Custer’s writing modern? Absolutely not. Custer took writing seriously; Libbie dreamed that he might build a second career

on it. Certainly, he could tell a good story. His account of the Wash*ta is gripping, and his description of Wild Bill Hickok is terrific. He could place you in the saddle, as someone encountering the Great Plains for the first time in the 1860s. But not all of it wears so well. Many of his articles for Turf, Field and Farm are about horses and racing, written for contemporary fans of the turf. In The Galaxy magazine, he revealed his ambition to be a public intellectual. His first two articles, which became the first two chapters of his memoir, My Life on the Plains, are a serious disquisition on the natural history of the Great Plains and a pseudo-scientific discussion of American Indians, influenced by the badly warped racial science of the day. These pages are mainly interesting to those who want to know how Custer thought. You wrote, “A critical fact stands out: he captured the American imagination long before the Little Big Horn, even before he went west.” Yet to most Americans, Custer will always be regarded as a man of the West. What do you mean by, “He loved the West, but he was not of the West?” I want to be clear: I am not debunking the idea that Custer was an important figure in the West. But he neither came from the frontier, nor did he commit himself to life there. He saw the West as an exotic place where he went on periodic deployments. He enjoyed the frontier and mastered it, in his mind, but in the end, he preferred civilization. Libbie wrote that “life in the saddle on the free open plain is his legitimate existence,” claiming that he was relieved and happy to be transferred from Kentucky to Dakota Territory in 1873. But Custer wrote to her the same year, “What a delightful two years we have spent in the States.” He especially loved New York and wrote of settling there after he made some money. He was a huge fan of the theatre, fine art and fine dining. To a certain extent, he was haunted by his origins as a small-town boy, born in the middle of nowhere to poor, badly educated parents. The glamour of Manhattan attracted him; he wanted the nation’s fanciest people to accept and admire him. In the end, that mattered more to him than his authentic love of the West and the outdoor life.

The 1876 Battle of the Little Big Horn is what we remember best about Custer, but you don’t come down hard on him for his decisions in the campaign. As you put it, “Custer made a grave tactical error in dividing his force, exposing it to destruction in detail. It was fatal, but understandable.” Why understandable? With the battle itself, several factors explain Custer’s actions. First, the precedent of the Hanco*ck Expedition, when the Army column approached the Cheyenne and Oglala village on Pawnee Fork. No battle resulted, because the Indians were more concerned with helping their women and children to escape. Second, the precedent of Wash*ta, where Custer divided his force with great success. It was only the arrival of men from a separate

“I find it impossible to...conclude that Custer defied orders or acted irrationally.” village that led to the annihilation of Elliott’s detachment. For that reason, Custer expressed concern for catching all of the Indian camps and pushing them all together toward [Brig. Gen. Alfred] Terry and [Col. John] Gibbon’s column. He split off Benteen as a reconnaissance in force, to prevent a nasty surprise like in that second village at the Wash*ta. He may have split off from [Maj. Marcus] Reno, both to strike the camp from two sides and to prevent anyone from escaping his attack. Third, the size of the Little Big Horn village was extremely unusual. Such a vast assemblage led to a rapid depletion of grazing and pollution of the area through human and animal waste. Once supplies ran out, they had to split up to hunt. Sheridan knew this. He sent Terry a telegram to that effect on May 16: “I believe [your column] to be fully equal to all the Sioux which can be brought against it, and only hope they

will hold fast to meet it.... You know the impossibility of any large number of Indians keeping together as a hostile body for even one week.” I find it impossible to read that message and conclude that Custer defied orders or acted irrationally. Everything he did fit with Sheridan’s expectations and those of probably every other Army officer.... Besides, let’s give the Lakotas and Cheyennes full credit for their victory. As Robert Utley wrote, it’s less that Custer lost than the Indians won. I’ve been dying to ask a Custer biographer this question for years: What do you think the future would have been like for him if he had won the Battle of the Little Big Horn? Great question. His best choices were to make a career as a politician, financier, writer or celebrity. Libbie stopped him from running for office, though he was a passionate conservative Democrat. The notion he planned to run for president in 1876 is nonsense. National Democratic politics were run from New York, as he well knew. I’ve looked at the papers of the Democratic kingmakers, including those of [Samuel J.] Tilden, who actually ran in 1876. They knew Custer personally, but never mentioned him in their political letters. As a financier, he blew it. He didn’t pay enough attention to the actual operations of his mine, and he gambled disastrously on Wall Street, leaving Libbie a huge debt. As a writer, he did much better, but never made enough to live on. At the very end of his life, he did find a way to turn his celebrity into money. He planned to go on a lecture tour, which could have been quite lucrative, but how long could that have lasted? Even if he succeeded at public speaking, I suspect that Custer would have self-destructed, as he so often did, possibly by gambling with stocks or in a harebrained investment. In any event, he probably would have ended up about as well known to Americans today as Nelson Miles, Wesley Merritt or George Crook. T.J. Stiles is the author of Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America (published in October 2015 by Knopf). He won the Pulitzer Prize for his Cornelius Vanderbilt biography, and he authored the 2002 biography, Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War.

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As a star attraction at the inauguration of the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch Wild West Show in 1905, Geronimo (wearing a top hat) drove a Locomobile Model C. The Chiricahua Apache war chief was fascinated by the latest innovations of his time. – TRUE WEST ARCHIVES –

Geronimo Cashes In The Apache leader rose above his prisoner of war status.

n September 8, 1886, the 4th U.S. Cavalry band was on hand as Geronimo and the last of the Chiricahua Apaches were marched to Bowie Station in Arizona Territory. The band mockingly played “Auld Lang Syne” as the Florida-bound train carried Geronimo into exile. Perhaps the most famous Indian in American history, he lived nearly 23 years as a prisoner of war, but became a celebrity. He even marched in President Theodore Roosevelt’s inauguration parade. He died of pneumonia, on February 17, 1909, after falling from his horse.




His nephew said his deathbed words were, “I should have never surrendered. I should have fought until I was the last man alive.” Despite his regrets, Geronimo died a rich man. By charging for autographs, autographed photos and buttons off his clothing that he sold as souvenirs, he reportedly died with $10,000 in the bank, the equivalent of $268,000 today.

Arizona’s Journalist of the Year, Jana Bommersbach has won an Emmy and two Lifetime Achievement Awards. She also cowrote and appeared on the Emmy-winning Outrageous Arizona and has written two true crime books, a children’s book and the historical novel Cattle Kate.

“II sold my photographs for twentyfive cents.... I often made as much as two dollars a day, and when I returned I had plenty of money—more than I had ever owned before,” Geronimo told S.M. Barrett for the Apache’s 1906 autobiography. – COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

n r e t s e W



The Highest Peak Best of the mountain man movies.

Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the role of real-life trapper Hugh Glass in The Revenant. He must navigate a brutal, winter, hostile environment, filled with warring American Indian tribes, in his relentless quest to survive and exact vengeance on the men who betrayed him. – COURTESY TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM –


n the eve of the release of The Revenant, inspired by the true story of Hugh Glass’s fight for life, the film rights to the character of Grizzly Adams are up for bid and, across the country, hipsters dubbed “lumbersexuals” are sprouting facial hair and sporting flannel and buckskin. Why the sudden appeal of the mountain man? Maybe because neither Grizzly Adams nor Hugh Glass ever said, “It takes a village.” As Charlton Heston’s character says in 1980’s The Mountain Men, “I can still walk for a year in any direction with just my rifle and a handful of salt and never have to say ‘sir’ to nobody. I reckon that’s free.” Charlton’s son, Fraser, who wrote that film, understands the appeal of the selfconfident, independent man: “It’s an archetypical Western; prototypical, really. It’s an early version of America’s drive West, before the country was settled, before there were gunslingers and ranchers and farmers and towns with sidewalks.”

The men who cut the paths that became wagon routes for the pioneers have long fascinated filmgoers and filmmakers. Here are 10 mountain man movies worth seeking out. 1 The 1971 Western Man in the Wilderness (Warner Archive), the first cinematic telling of the ordeal of Hugh Glass, stars Richard Harris as part of a grand trapper expedition. Horribly mauled by a grizzly, sure to die, the expedition’s captain (John Huston) leaves two men behind to bury him, but fearing that Indians are coming, they abandon him. Yet he survives, driven by memories of his family, to try and catch up. #

2 Jeremiah Johnson (Warner Archive) features Robert Redford as a Mexican-American War veteran determined to make a life in the Rocky Mountains. Sydney Pollack’s direction and John Milius and Edward Anhalt’s script for the 1972 film create a man who, while speaking rarely, is accessible, romantic and terrifying in his wrath, although the film tactfully skirts why he was known as “Liver-Eating Johnson.” #

# 3 Clint Walker, on hiatus from Cheyenne, gave the screen’s most clean-shaven mountain man in 1959’s Yellowstone Kelly (Warner Archive). Supported by fellow Warner Bros. TV stars Edd Byrnes and John Russell’s characters, Kelly must protect the Sioux, and his own trap-lines, from dangerously ambitious soldiers. He must also safeguard a beautiful Arapaho captive desired by both the Sioux chief and his ambitious nephew. # 4 The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, a tiny-budget, sound-dubbed-in 1974 film, was such a success that it begat a slew of wilderness family films as well as a TV series for its star, Dan Haggerty. Falsely accused of murder, Adams disappears into the mountains, lives off the land and raises a grizzly. Sometimes dismissed as Jeremiah Johnson Lite, the film has great beauty and charm. Haggerty remembers fondly, “A lot of people don’t know that the California State Flag is a representation of his bear. We did kind of a softened version [of his life]; couldn’t do it hard and heavy in those days, the way James Capen Adams [lived], but that’s how it was.”




5 The most filmed mountain man portrayal is of Albert Johnson, the “Mad Trapper of Rat River,” filmed four times in nine years! (The 1978 comedy went unfinished.) In 1931, Inuits complained that Johnson was meddling with their traps. Mountie confrontations with Johnson led to them leveling his cabin with dynamite. When the smoke cleared, Johnson ran out, guns blazing, and the legendary Yukon manhunt began. The engrossing 1981 actioner Death Hunt (Shout! Factory), starring Charles Bronson as Johnson and Lee Marvin as the Mountie determined to catch him, is by far the best. A new version has been announced for 2017.


6 Charlton Heston and Brian Keith star in the salty and savage 1980 film The Mountain Men (Amazon Video), an adventure story with plenty of humor and heart. Screenwriter Fraser Heston recalls, “Our story takes place in the 1830s, at the end of the fur trade era. The heyday was passed, so there’s a feeling already of nostalgia for something that is lost.” Victoria Racimo plays the Indian woman Heston’s trapper character


Fraser Heston voted 1972’s Jeremiah Johnson the best mountain man movie. Dan Haggerty concurs: “Robert Redford did such a great job on it; no one could have done it better.” In the film, Redford’s character (above) learns the basics of mountain survival from an older mountain man who specializes in hunting grizzly bears. – COURTESY WARNER BROS. –

December 4-5, 2015 27th Annual Cowboy Christmas Poets Gathering December 11, 2015 20th Annual Christmas Parade of Lights February 12-14, 2016 68th Annual Gold Rush Days & Rodeo




Charles Bronson (at far right), at age 59, played a real-life Canadian fugitive, trapper Albert Johnson, in 1981’s Death Hunt. Old trapper Bill Luce (played by Henry Beckman, at right) warns Johnson that the law is coming for him. – COURTESY TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM –

does not want, but grows to love. Stephen Macht is Heavy Eagle, who will not give her up. Among the high points is the trappers’ rendezvous sequence, an event Fraser describes as, “part trade-show and part rave, in buckskins.” 7 In “Wild Bill” Wellman’s 1951 flick Across the Wide Missouri (Warner Archive), Flint Mitchell (Clark Gable) bargains for a Blackfoot bride (María Elena Marqués) for trade reasons, assembles a battalion of fellow-trappers, and leads them into rich beaver grounds. Mitchell finds himself loving his wife and her people, and he becomes drawn into a power struggle between her grandfather Bear Ghost (Jack Holt) and Ironshirt (Ricardo Montalban). #

8 Anthony Mann’s 1955 Western The Last Frontier (Sony Pictures) is a fascinating story of three cultures clashing: military, Lakota and mountain man. When Red Cloud forces three trappers out, they scout for the nearby fort. As arrogant Col. Marston (Robert Preston) drives the two sides inevitably to war, Victor Mature is


the savage innocent of the trappers, who naively makes a play for Anne Bancroft’s character, not caring that she’s the colonel’s wife. # 9 In 1969’s My Side of the Mountain, Ted Eccles plays a 12-year-old boy obsessed with Henry David Thoreau and science, who runs away to live in the mountains of Canada and tries to create a new food source—from algae! He also catches and trains a Peregrine falcon, skins deer to make his clothes and befriends an itinerant folksinger played by Theodore Bikel.

10 I’m jumping the gun including The Revenant in the top 10 list. As we go to press, I have seen only the trailer, but what a trailer and what a story. Between the celebrated novel by professional diplomat Michael Punke, the direction by last year’s Oscar winner (for Birdman) Alejandro González Iñárritu, photography by double-Oscar winner (for #

2014’s Birdman and 2013’s Gravity) Emmanuel Lubezki and performances by Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy, it should be on the top of your must-see list. Due out as a limited release this Christmas and then nationwide on January 8, The Revenant stars DiCaprio as real-life frontiersman Hugh Glass, who gets mauled by a bear and left to die by his hunting companions. He sets out on a 200-mile trek to avenge this betrayal. Henry C. Parke is a screenwriter based in Los Angeles, California, who blogs about Western movies, TV, radio and print news:

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Study Butte/Terlingua is located three miles from the park entrance. We offer five motels, several restaurants, medic’s, post office, bank, gas station, a great quilt shop, art galleries, assorted gift shops, and wonderful night life. Big Bend Chamber of Commerce and Visit Big Bend: 432-371-2320 or






The Monitor was designed to prevent a robbery like the one depicted in Charles M. Russell’s The Hold Up (20 Miles to Deadwood). The painting is worth some hefty change. A collector paid nearly $5.2 million for the 1899 artwork at Coeur d’Alene Art Auction in 2008. – COURTESY COEUR D’ALENE ART AUCTION, JULY 26, 2008 –

Stagecoach travelers were far more likely That day, Gene Barnett was driving the Monitor, which also carried guards Gale to perish from accidents, bad water or what passed for food at the stage stops than an Hill, Eugene Smith and Scott “Quick Shot” outlaw’s bullets. This was not the case for Davis. Passenger Hugh Campbell didn’t guards and drivers of the famous Deadwood realize that his ticket included a dance with stage, even the supposedly invincible the devil. Monitor armored coach. When the Monitor pulled up to the station, On September 26, Hill got down to chock 1878, the Monitor BEFORE PASSING OUT FROM the wheels with blocks rumbled into a wellto keep the stagecoach planned ambush set at BLOOD LOSS, HE MANAGED from rolling. He called the Canyon Springs TO WOUND TWO OR THREE out to Miner, but rifle fire was his response. Station, where stages OF THE ROBBERS. paused for under 10 Flying lead whistled minutes as tired horses all around. Hill, wounded in one arm, returned fi re were swung out and replaced with fresh livestock. Charles Carey and his gang of robbers until he was hit in the chest, the bullet pierchad taken over the station and were holding ing his left lung. Before passing out from blood loss, he managed to wound two or the stock attendant, William Miner, prisoner three of the robbers. in the grain room of the stable. The robbers cleared loopholes in the stable walls by Inside the armored coach, Campbell and removing chinking from the logs, preparing Smith were wounded. Davis lived up to his a devastating field of fire. nickname and returned a storm of lead in




kind. He dragged the wounded Campbell to get cover behind a tree, but Campbell was killed in the process. Robbers took the driver as prisoner, using him as a shield and making it impossible for Davis to continue his fusillade. Davis abandoned the fight, leaving the robbers to contend with the “breakproof” safe, which they cracked within two hours.



I painted the moment when Gale Hill was frantically returning fire at the robbers ensconced in the stable. He had been shot in the arm while he was chocking the wheels to keep the Monitor stagecoach from rolling. Hill would be hit by gunfire again... and put out of the fight.

In the early 1900’s, a small village on the border of Missouri was terriorized by uncontrollable violence which resulted in unsolved murders. Marshal Charlie Witwer was hired to make the streets safe. Did he get the job done? Or was more violence created? A murder trial occurred, which almost destroyed the lives of three generations. The reader will be compelled to decide whether justice was truly served! Available at Barnes & Noble or Signed copies available at: (free shipping and handling)

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George Lathrop drove the last stagecoach for the Cheyenne-Black Hills Stage & Express line. Hired in 1879 and shown above as driver in 1884 in front of Wyoming’s Chugwater Station, Lathrop drove his last route on February 19, 1887. – COURTESY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS –

The robbers took their loot and tied up the survivors. Miner eventually freed himself and walked to the next station to spread the alarm. By all rights, Hill should have been dead, but he made it to the hospital in Deadwood and survived. The bullet lodged in Hill’s arm worked itself out in roughly two years, but the lung injuries never fully mended. He took a job as a deputy sheriff and married in 1882. The wounds took many years off his life, but miraculously he had lived to tell the tale. Terry A. Del Bene is a former Bureau of Land Management archaeologist and the author of Donner Party Cookbook and the novel ’Dem Bon’z.

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Dr. James Blundell, a gynecologist, published the first report on a “human life being saved by transfusion” in 1829. The four blood types, which made blood transfusions safer, weren’t discovered until 1901. Decades more passed before doctors had the ability to safely store and preserve donated blood. – ILLUSTRATED IN THE LANCET, JUNE 13, 1829 –

HOW TO STOP BLOOD LOSS When Gale Hill was shot during the robbery, he was left without treatment for hours. That he did not bleed to death from his grievous gunshot wounds was a miracle. The documents are silent on the matter, but William Miner likely bound Gale’s wounds before leaving for help. Tight bandages would apply pressure to the wounds. If Miner cleaned out debris or any foreign objects from the wounds, he would have accomplished about all he could to reduce Hill’s bleeding. Hours later, Hill was likely put into a wagon, which pummeled its occupants as it rattled down unimproved roads leading to the next station. Such jarring could have killed an injured passenger by opening the wounds. Once he got in front of the doctor, Hill may have received a transfusion, a medical practice since the late 17th century. The doctor would have closed up the wounds with sutchering or perhaps cauterizing. He left the bullet or fragments in Hill’s arm. The shot to his chest either passed through Hill or was removed in surgery. The bulk of the credit for Hill’s survival goes to his iron constitution and will to live, which are both among the most important survival tools.

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Old Vaquero Sayings The old-time vaqueros, down Mexico way, have been known to dispense good advice, like this gem: “How do you tell the difference between a grizzly and a black bear? When you climb a tree, if the bear follows you, it’s a black bear; if the bear knocks the tree over, it’s a grizzly.” Good to know.

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The Original War Wagon Stagecoach robberies along the Deadwood-Cheyenne Trail set the stage for unique treasure coaches.

fter Johnny Slaughter, murdered on March 25, 1877, became the first stage driver killed along the Deadwood to Cheyenne Trail, the Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage Company built two steel-plated treasure coaches. The company named one after Slaughter and the other after the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor. Both stagecoaches were lined with steel plates 5/16th inches thick. Each door had a porthole for guards to shoot out. The strongbox, with walls three inches thick, was bolted to the floor. The manufacturer guaranteed the strongbox could withstand assaults upon it for 24 hours. Yet bandits were not dissuaded. At Canyon Springs Station, on September 26, 1878, Charles Carey’s robber gang waited for the Monitor, which had left Deadwood, Dakota Territory, hauling gold and valuables totaling $27,000. A gun battle ensued, resulting in the passenger dying and men wounded on both sides. The robbers overwhelmed the coach defenders—the driver and three shotgun messengers—broke into the strongbox and took off with the loot (see Survival Out West, on p. 62). The Monitor’s robbery unleashed a manhunt expanding from Dakota Territory into Wyoming, Nebraska and Iowa. The Deadwood, Dakota Territory, posse detained road agent John Brown at the scene of the crime. After lawmen threatened to apply the “Montana Argument”—hang the outlaw—Brown broke down and revealed he was not party to this crime, but he did know the robbers were heading south. Based on Brown’s information, lawmen apprehended one of the robbers, Charles Borris, who confessed. Informants told the posse that Carey, a wounded Frank McBride and an unidentified wounded man were traveling in a wagon east from Rapid City. The

pursuers then learned both wounded men had died. They found the wagon and one gold bar, but not Carey. The posse then caught Andy Gouch; because he showed them where some gold was buried, he was not prosecuted. After Archie McLaughlin and Billy Mansfield were captured and confessed, vigilantes “hoisted [them] between heaven and earth,” remembered Jesse Brown, who, with Jim May, had been guarding the prisoners on a northbound stage to Deadwood. Thomas Jefferson “Duck” Goodale returned to Iowa, displaying a gold bar and telling family and friends he had struck it rich. Yet lawmen arrested Goodale, too, and recovered his stolen bar. On his way to Cheyenne, Wyoming, by train

They found the wagon and one gold bar, but not Carey.




to stand trial, Goodale, wearing leg shackles, asked his guard permission to use the water closet. When Goodale did not come out, guards broke down the door and discovered he had escaped out the window...and disappeared for good. The last bandit arrested was Albert Spears, in Nebraska, where he was trying to fence the stolen jewelry. Carey vanished and with him, presumably, went the more than $10,000 of the Monitor’s treasure that the lawmen never recovered. He, at least, had beaten the original war wagon and successfully ran off with a treasure of riches. Bill Markley has written his first published novel, Deadwood Dead Men, and is the author of nonfiction books that include Up the Missouri River with Lewis and Clark. He works for the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and lives in Pierre with wife Liz.

Under the leadership of Joel Collins, Sam Bass and road agents killed stagecoach driver Johnny Slaughter (see gang embers, from left, Sam Bass, Joe Collins, members, John E. Gardner and Joel Collins). The second ironclad coach was named as a tribute to Slaughter. – COURTESY ROBERT G. MCCUBBIN COLLECTION –

J n C.H. Grabill’s circa 1887 “treasure coach” photo John ( set) is too open to fit the description of the (inset) i nclad stage. A photo labeled “Treasure Coach at ironclad Canyon Springs 1878” (left) shows an open side door, barely revealing a man seated inside. The open door prevents us from seeing the porthole. The coach looks to have no windows though. Author Bill Markley thought this could be a photo of the Monitor, but stagecoach builder Doug Hansen dug up the truth: this photo was taken during a re-enactment of the Monitor holdup at the Wyoming State Fair in 1914. –COURTESY HOMESTAKE ADAMS RESEARCH AND CULTURAL CENTER –







Old West

River Captain’s Hotel A steamboat port brings fine food and lodgings to East Texas.


new adventures

The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce

It’s more than a rI rIfle,

he Port of Jefferson’s first steamboat captain opened Texas’s second oldest, continuously operating hotel, the Excelsior. William Perry, a Massachusetts native, settled in Jefferson, Texas, in 1842. After he guided the first steamboat, the Llama, into the city situated on Big Cypress Bayou, it became a boomtown. Jefferson’s Golden Era as a steamboat port, to and from New Orleans, Louisiana, lasted until 1875. The bustling port city received a large selection of goods to create tasty and exotic dishes. With steamboats regularly reaching Jefferson by 1845, William and wife Sardenia opened the Soda Lake Hotel in 1846. In a Christmas Eve ad posted in a Clarksville newspaper, William promised good food and lodgings: “Every means will be used to afford comfort to the

tired traveller [sic], his table and larder will be furnished with the best that the country will warrant.” Two years later, the Perrys sold that hotel. In 1854, after a stint in the California Gold Rush, William purchased Albert G. Irvine’s house on Austin Street, opening the two-story home, with six guest rooms for lodging, sometime in 1859. He just missed the opportunity to beat out William Menger, who opened Texas’s oldest, still-operating hotel, the Menger, on Alamo Square in San Antonio on January 31, 1859. William sold his hotel in 1866 to Bass Nichols, who sold it to grocer Hiram Tomlin the next year. After renaming the hotel the Exchange, Tomlin added eight upstairs guest rooms in a new west wing before the 42 year old died in September. September The hotel’s founder met

“Jeffersonians found it difficult to reconcile her other lady-like qualities with her fondness for beer....”

It’s hI hIstory!

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The Excelsior House Hotel purchased its meats from German-born butcher Gotlieb Boehringer, who owned a meat market and smokehouse to cure sausage, shown here in 1888, at the intersection of S. Line and Lafayette Streets in Jefferson, Texas. – COURTESY JEFFERSON CARNEGIE LIBRARY –

KEEPSAKE BISCUITS 1 quart milk or cream 1 ½ cups butter or lard 2 T white sugar 1 good tsp. salt 1 tsp. cream of Tartar Enough flour to make stiff dough Knead well and mold into neat, small biscuits with your hands. Bake well, and you have a good sweet biscuit that will keep for weeks in a dry place. They are fine for traveling.

Excelsior House Hotel Cookbook, 1890 recipe

his maker, too, on January 3, 1869, when soldiers accidentally shot 55-year-old William while he was walking home. The hotel changed hands a couple times and ended up with the Excelsior House Hotel name when widow Catherine Wood purchased it in January 1878. Wood doted on her guests...and her pets. Her dog Frank wore a diamond studded-collar and got a lost tooth replaced by a gold one! A German native, Wood could not let go of one of her country’s customs— Victorian virtues be damned. “Each evening she took her pitcher to be filled with beer at the corner saloon,” Excelsior House Hotel history states. “Jeffersonians found it difficult to reconcile her other lady-like qualities with her fondness for beer and her daring entry into a saloon.” Some of the prominent guests Wood welcomed to her hotel included Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, Jay Gould and Oscar Wilde. Wood died in 1907; by 1961, the Jefferson Historical Restoration & Preservation Corporation owned the hotel. When Wood operated the hotel, “Jefferson was no backwater town,” says Raymary Keasler, a Perry House Foundation member. “The first celebration of Mardi Gras in Jefferson began in 1877, and the ball was held at the Excelsior House annually for many years.” For your next Mardi Gras, make the included 1890 recipe for Keepsake Biscuits found in the hotel kitchen’s 1879 cookbook. Sherry Monahan has penned Mrs. Earp: Wives & Lovers of the Earp Brothers; California Vines, Wines & Pioneers; Taste of Tombstone; The Wicked West and Tombstone’s Treasure. She’s appeared on the History Channel in Lost Worlds and other shows.


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“I absolutely guarantee that with my signature in your book, someday it will be worth the cover price.” —Bob Boze Bell








Cowboy Capital of the World Bandera stands deep in the heart of Texas Hill Country.

In 1853, pioneers built Bandera on the banks of the Medina River adjacent to a grove of cypress trees they milled for lumber and shingles. The town became the county seat in 1856, and after the Civil War, the ranching and farming village population grew from less than 400 to over 5,000 by 1900. In 1890, local limestone was used to construct the county’s Renaissance revival courthouse. – COURTESY BANDERA HISTORY ASSOCIATION/TXDOT –


istory can sometimes seem a mishmash of facts, folklore and half-forgotten fables, held together by little more than spit and baling wire. Take Bandera, located in the picturesque Hill Country deep in the heart of central Texas, just 40 miles northwest of San Antonio. Fact: The town was named after Bandera Pass, a natural route through the hills about a dozen miles north of town. Folklore: The pass itself was named for the red flags (bandera in Spanish) flown there to mark the unofficial boundary between Spanish and Indian lands.

Half-forgotten fable: The pass may have h been named for the Spanish commander comman Manuel (Ciro, some say) Bandera, who led his troops to a victory over Apache raiders there in the 1730s. The details may be lost in the haze of time, but this much is certain: The selfproclaimed “Cowboy Capital of the World” remains a place where rodeos reign, dude ranches abound and real cowboys mosey through town. There’s been a major effort the last few years to preserve Bandera’s historical treasures, according to Merry Langlinais, editor of the Bandera County Historian and

“There’s been a major effort the last few years to preserve Bandera’s historical treasures.”




a member of the Bandera County Historical Commission. Historical plaques, monuments and statues around town honor the pioneers, cowboys and prominent folks who’ve made Bandera what it is today. Settlers arrived in the early 1850s, drawn by the cypress trees along the Medina River. A sawmill, built in 1853, produced shingles for builders in San Antonio, as well as for the military. The town was designated the seat of Bandera County in 1856. After the Civil War, Bandera became a staging ground for cattle drives. By 1874 it had become the primary southern terminus of the Great Western Cattle Trail, which ran north to Dodge City, Kansas, into Nebraska and, for a time, clear on up to Deadwood, South Dakota.

We are Texan, We are Cowboy!


In 2014, Bandera dedicated a monument to the trail in the town’s Western Heritage Park. Many of Bandera’s oldest buildings were built with locally quarried limestone. The stately Bandera County Courthouse, completed in 1891, is a prime example. The three-story structure with its distinctive clock-less tower (long listed on the National Register of Historic Places) is the focal point of the town square. Nowadays an assortment of statues, monuments and historical plaques adorn the courthouse grounds. The charmingly castellated Bandera County Jail, built in 1881, is also on the National Register. According to Langlinais, whose great-grandparents came to Bandera in the 1890s, efforts are afoot to

The Frontier Times Museum, located one block north of the county courthouse on 13th Street, inducts new members into its Texas Heroes Hall of Honor during the National Day of the American Cowboy celebrations, held on the fourth weekend of July since its creation in 2009.

Cowboy dreams begin and end here! Unleash your cowboy spirit! You’re in Bandera… part maverick, ALL Cowboy!

photo by iHorse Photo Media Group

The 11th Annual 11th Street Mardi Gras Cowboy Parade is one of the most popular weekends in the Hill Country town with lots of cowboys, horses, floats, feathers, masks and beads. 830-796-3045





One of the highlights of Bandera Days is the Texas Longhorn Cattle Drive leading the Celebrate Bandera Parade down Main Street. - COURTESY BARBARA SHANLE –

designate a historical district centered near the old jail. Unfortunately, the building is not currently open to the public. Polish immigrants played a big role in Bandera’s early years, so it’s not surprising to learn that the elegant St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, built in 1876, is one of the oldest Polish Catholic churches in the country. Be sure to stop by the Frontier Times Museum, home to the Texas Heroes Hall of Honor, an assortment of historical artifacts, Western art and natural curiosities. As you might expect, Bandera loves to share its Texas heritage. The town celebrates the National Day of the American Cowboy in a big way, with rodeos and music and barbeque aplenty. The fun takes place on the fourth Saturday of every JJuly. ly O On L Labor Day weekend the National P f Professional l Bull B ll Riders R d come to town as the centerpiece of Celebrate Bandera,,

the annual end-of-summer family-friendly festival that includes the Longhorn Cattle Drive and Parade, Circle of Life Intertribal Pow-Wow, Texas pioneer living history exhibitions and the Lonestar BBQ Society’s Cook-off. Bandera also stakes a claim on one of the most popular cowboy Mardi Gras parades in the state, with the Annual 11th Street Cowboy Mardi Gras the last weekend in January. Visitors can saddle up for a ride at many local ranches and riding stables, or enjoy a real cowboy experience with a days-long stay at one of several dude ranches. And don’t miss Arkey Blue’s Silver Dollar Saloon, said to be the oldest continuously operating honkytonk in all of Texas. John Stanley was a longtime newspaper travel reporter and photographer.


Order yours today! 888-687-1881 or online at T R U E






As soon as you spot the life-sized sculptures outside the Museum of Western Art, you know you’re in for a treat. Along with its extraordinary collection of traditional and contemporary Western paintings, the museum is home to around 150 sculptures, a slew of artifacts and a terrific research library.


Bandera Visitors Center

Get all the info you need for an interesting historical walking tour at the Bandera County Visitors Center. Afterwards, take a drive to check out some attractions. John Stanley was a longtimenearby newspaper travel reporter and photographer.

Old Camp Verde, a mile west of today’s town, was once the headquarters for the Camel Corps, the U.S. Army’s mid-19th-century plan to import camels for travel and transport across America’s great Western deserts. Learn more about the fanciful experiment at the Camp Verde General Store.


Many of the Pioneer Museum’s exhibits—ranging from archaeological artifacts and ranching equipment to firearms and works of art—reflect the German heritage of the town, first settled in 1846.


The Medina County Museum, housed in the 1893 Southern Pacific Depot, displays thousands of items from the town’s frontier days. There’s even a one-room schoolhouse on the grounds. T R U E



The Glade Creek Grist Mill in Babco*ck State Park is among the most-photographed tourist sites in the state of West Virginia. It was named in honor of lumber industrialist Edward V. Babco*ck. Completed in 1976 by combining parts of three other West Virginia mills, it is a replica of the original Cooper’s Mill that was located nearby. The Glade Creek Grist Mill is a living, working monument to the more than 500 mills formerly located throughout the state. Visitors to the picturesque Glade Creek Grist Mill can buy bags of cornmeal and flour, freshly ground by waterpower. – COURTESY FORESTWANDER.COM –




Wherever you may be celebrating th e holidays, winter across the West ha rkens the adventurous tales of Jack London, a fresh snowfall on the mountains and pla ins, sunfilled days in the desert and southern coast, and the joy of sharing the spirit of the season with family and friends. Tr ue West invites you to enjoy this cornucopia of Western gift items to share with yo ur favorite cowboys and cowgirls.




Taylor’s & Company The Smoke Wagon boasts a low-profile hammer and wider style sights, allowing the user to acquire sighting faster, without co*cking the pistol. It features a blue finish with a case-hardened frame and a thin checkered grip for comfort and improved aim. Price: $556

Garrett Metal Detectors

The Pro-Pointer AT all-terrain pinpointer, fully waterproof to a depth of 10 feet, speeds the recovery of coins, rings and more. Its pulsing audio and vibrations increase proportionately as it moves closer to a metallic target. This pinpointer includes an LED flashlight, a lanyard attachment ring, belt holster and batteries. MSRP: $149.95

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

The John Wayne Westerns Film Collection saddles up two post-Spaghetti Oaters from 1973 alongside three classic Westerns. The collection includes Fort Apache (1948), The Searchers (1956), a new DTS lossless audio release of Rio Bravo (1959), Cahill, U.S. Marshal (1973) and The Train Robbers (1973), plus documentaries, featurettes and commentaries. MSRP: $54.98




Boxelder Productions, LLC She had four husbands, but she only shot one of them…Wanda, a 1920s-era gunslinging wild-woman, journeys from Indian Territory to sheep country, via the circus, vaudeville, Hollywood and a brothel. Wanda the Wonderful is about family, sacrifice, love and the American West.

Duster Coats and Jackets Large Hat Selection, Whips Australian Saddles & Tack

Price: $20 plus $8.75 S&H

Visit Our Website Today!

Huge Holiday Sale!

Bureau of Land Management

Adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro at an off-range location and take home a legend of the West. Price: $125 and up

Aurora, Colorado T R U E



D m 57 Diamond

Diamond5 Diamond 57 creates unique saddle blanket blanke bags b zipper using horse tack, conchos and horsehair zippe your pulls. Let whimsical trinkets express you individual cowgirl attitude. See Diamond 57 at Point the Las Vegas National Finals Rodeo, South Poin Arena, on December 6 through 113. $125 Price: $12

Galaxy Press The 15-book Western Short Story Collection by master storyteller L. Ron Hubbard contains 34 short stories of the American frontier. Hear the Wild West come to life in the multicast audiobook set, which runs approximately 30 hours. Price: $110, book or $150, audiobook

Factory-custom, smooth-tuned, single-action revolver. A proven performer fitted with high-grade, US-made Wolff ® springs.




Miller Ranch Sure re to be everything a cowboy needs to stay warm this holiday season, the sharp aand d cclassic ass c Western-look wool coat is fashioned from fine 24-ounce Merino wool. A built-in back vent, nt, roomy dual-entry pockets and side snap closures add function to the timeless coat design. MSRP: $339.99

A i Legacy Firearms American i s Each h rifle is personalized with your name, making it a “one of one.”” Built on an American-made, Americ fully functional Henry Lever Action .30-30, this rifle is plated d with 24-karat 2 gold. The engravings are of Russell’s ’ greatest artworks. Each sale helps the he C.M. C M Russell usse Museum! Price: $2,495 , 5

Image courtesy of Ben Masters,

October 2

Ewing, IL

October 16-17 Liberty, KY

October 17

Carson City, NV

October 23-24 Extor, TX

November 8 Davis, CA

November 19-20

Wichita Falls, TX

December 11-12 Verona, MS


ADOPT A LEGEND Adopt a wild horse or burro and live your American dream.

For more information and off-range adoption locations visit or call 866.468.7826




Miss Devon & the Outlaw Keepin’ Your Head Above the Water by Devon Dawson features 15 songs with Jess Meador and appearances by Teresa Burleson and Rich O’Brien. Price: $15

Cowboy Legacy Gallery 480-595-8999

Cowboy Legacy Gallery, which specializes in fine Western art and artifacts, is offering for sale a Winchester Model 1873. The .44-40 caliber Saddle Ring Carbine, manufactured in 1884, features silver and gold engraving. Receiver Price: $ 8,500

Southern Son

t h e S ag a o f D o c h o l l i D ay

The epic story of Doc Holliday comes to a dramatic conclusion in The Last Decision. On sale now in bookstores everywhere!

The Story of the West’s Most Famous Southern Gentleman “Here, Doc is alive and his world real—wonderfully so.” Biographer Dr. Gary Roberts A trilogy of historical novels available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever books are sold

Visit the world of Doc Holliday at T R U E



A. Uberti The Silverboy Lever-Action Rifle is the ultimate small-bore lever-action rifle chambered in .22 LR. The all-original firearm, with chrome-plated alloy frame and 19-inch barrel, is based on the classic styling of an Old West lever gun. It embodies the best features of a proven lever-action design from the mid-1800s. MSRP: $559

Kensington Publishing A Texas Hill Country Christmas is the latest release in the popular Jensen Family series by William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone. As winter descends on the great state of Texas, so do renegades, rivals, starvation and one raging storm. The Jensens are in for a Christmas they’ll never forget! Price: $7.50

Antique & Contemporary • Saddles • Bits • Spurs • Fine Art • Indian Artifacts 7077 E. Main Steet, #10 Scottsdale, AZ 85251 480.595.8999




Southwest & Western Décor from the heart of the Southwest, Tucson, Arizona Shop Online for Unique Items That Will Make Your Home Special. We pride ourselves on bringing to you an ever changing variety of hand-crafted arts from the INTERIOR OF MEXICO. Specializing in Southwest decorative accessories for home, patio and garden.

Giclée Art Prints Available as a collection are New Mexico snow scenes of Billy the Kid fighting his way on horseback up the mountain, to take in a warm bowl of green chile from his favorite querida. Individual art prints also are available. Makes a nice gift. Price: $40 | 888-817-8684


Who was Pearl Hart and what was her secret? Get the DVD to find out the rest of the story!

Classic Gunfights Books




Classic Gunfights, Volumes I, II and III are “factual, lively and irreverent.... History as it should be presented.” —Garry James, Guns & Ammo Price: $19.95 (soft cover)

Historical Fiction Adventures By Daniel R. Cillis, Ph.D.

Sequel to Statehood of Affairs! A Tale of New Mexico, New York and Dawning Terror in America

U.S. Marshalls Museum

Water Damage tells the story of Germany’s secret war on America before World War I. A Wall Street explosion, attacks on U.S. munitions in New York Harbor and shipboard detonations on the Atlantic alarm the NYPD and the White House. From New Mexico to New York, Federal agents Adobe Centori and John Murphy urgently track the skilled saboteurs to stop their plan for a catastrophic terror attack on America. This holiday season, give the gift of legacy. Purchase the U.S. Marshals Service 225th Anniversary Commemorative Coins, and support the legacy of the U.S. Marshals before sales end in December 2015. 1-800-USA-MINT

In Statehood of Affairs, New Mexico is at the center of a conspiracy that threatened statehood. The unjust commitment of a woman to an insane asylum reveals a plot to find Article X of the Treaty of Mesilla—the Revert Document. If found before New Mexico can attain statehood, Mexico could recover the lost territory and change history., &

The Great Platte River Road Archway

Displays and pioneers’ diaries at The Archway, an interpretive center spanning 310 feet over Interstate 80 near Kearney, Nebraska, reveal the firsthand experiences of travelers on the Oregon, Mormon and California trails. Experience the westward expansion of a nation through the eyes of those who lived it. Price: $11, seniors or $12, adults (mention True West and receive a $2 discount off admission until December 2016)




Author Victoria Wilcox Southern Son: The Saga of Doc Holliday—an award-winning historical novel trilogy based on the life of John Henry “Doc” Holliday—is an epic, sweeping from the Civil War to the last days of the Wild West. It’s in trade paperback and e-book at Amazon and stores everywhere. MSRP: $27.99

CUSTOM CRAFTED PERSONALIZED GIFTS Capture unique brands, logos & names on custom-made bootjacks, leather coaster sets, luggage tags & marble trivets. Lasting gifts for Christmas, weddings, birthdays & rodeos.





Rock Island Auction Company

“Saving the best for last” is an understatement at Rock Island Auction Company, with the firm’s final Premiere Firearms Auction of 2015 on December 4 through 6, offering many new collections, including firearms from the Mac McCroskie collection. Join them for a spectacular event featuring monumental arms from around the world.

Where history meets fiction in a John Wayne style

The Western Short Story Collection by L. Ron Hubbard Ride a trail of blazing guns and two-fisted action in the Wild West as the Western Short Story Collection by bestselling author L. Ron Hubbard brings American history to life.

Author Daniel R. Cillis

The exciting new thriller, Water Damage—A Tale of New Mexico, New York and Dawning Terror in America by Daniel R. Cillis, Ph.D., tells the story of Germany’s secret war on America before World War I. This sequel to Statehood of Affairs is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

“With the flair of a LOUIS L’AMOUR or ZANE GREY.” —True West Magazine

15-book collection includes 34 short stories with glossaries of historical terms. Audiobooks are unabridged and total over 30 hours of multicast productions. Full Book Collection: $110 Full Audio Collection: $150

Order today: 877-842-5299 or © 2015 galaxy press, inc. all rights reserved.

Price: $4.99 to $21.26

Diamond 57 Cowboy Boot Purses Enjoy the spunky Cowgirl attitude of each cowboy boot purse and western accessories! Also check out our cowhide and saddle blanket bags and jewelry!

The Strater Hotel Capture the memories of then and now with this extraordinarily beautiful holiday ornament depicting the historic Strater Hotel in downtown Durango, Colorado, in the heart of the Old West. Create your memories from our corner of the world.


Price: $18.87 T R U E



sc 2-Di Set

If you’re a history buff or just want to learn more about the James Brothers, Trail of Terror and Beyond is a musthave!

The Illustrated Life & Times of . . .

To Order: 1-320-241-7905 Special True West Holiday Discount Price 2 DVD Set: $29.95

The Illustrated Life & Times Series features Doc Holliday, Billy the Kid and Wyatt Earp. “Factual, lively,and irreverent... History as it should be presented.” —Garry James, Guns & Ammo Price: $29.95 (hard cover)


Hyo Silver

The Doctor Will See You Now!

Guide your horse with precision and style when you strap on Hyo Silver decorated spurs. Your cowboy is sure to enjoy the timeless design of the men’s Western cutting spur. Price: $620

100% Cotton / Most sizes: + S&H or call

888-687-1881 T R U E



Quarter Horse Outfitters

Quarter Horse Outfitters and American Quarter Horse Foundation have released three Christmas card designs featuring the American Quarter Horse and a holiday message, in addition to the regular line of Western-inspired gifts and apparel. Each purchase of a box of 25 cards and envelopes supports the American Quarter Horse Foundation. Price: $25.99

High Noon Noo A unique gift for the Western Wester enthusiast in your life might be b VIP passes to the 26th Annual Annua Brian Lebel’s High Noon Show & Auction, January 23 2 and 24, 2016. Or general genera admission tickets make great (and affordable!) stocking stuffers. Or complete your enthusiast’s Old West Auction catalog collection. Price: varies

Black Hills Ammunition

Black Hills Ammunition has introduced a 5.56-millimeter, 69 grain TMK (Tipped MatchKing). The new technology bullets are usable even in the popular 1/9-inch twist rate guns. While the 5.56 69 grain TMK is the ballistic equivalent of the standard 77 grain bullet, it travels at a significantly higher velocity. Price: $594.50 per 500

Author Lee Martin Shadow on the Mesa by award-winner Martin was the basis for a film with Kevin Sorbo. The movie became one of the mostwatched in Hallmark Movie Channel history. Martin’s newest release, The Grant Conspiracy, is available in paperback and Kindle at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and wherever books are sold. Price: $3.99 to $12.25





Come visit us in our new location.


Guidon Books

We have THE largest collection of new and out of print Civil War, Train & Western Americana Books in Arizona. 7109 E. 2nd Street (corner of Marshall & 2nd St.) • Scottsdale, AZ 85251 • 480-945-8811

[emailprotected] •

Single Huckleberry—$114 Double Huckleberry—$200

Favorite Western Icon Buckle—$30

Authentic 1800 working cowboy clothing, leather, spurs and more. Call for a free catalog 509-782-3018

Lawman Holster/Belt Combination—$109


Western and Wildlife Wonders Single Action Pistol Grips by TeePee Creeper

Stainless Steel and Heat-treated Aluminum Satisfaction Guaranteed New Leather Covered


Prevents rubbing horse or saddle. Easy to change stirrup lengths quickly and very easy to install. Won’t slip or stick. Available in 2 1/2” and 3” widths, they are very well made and guaranteed to satisfy.

A Life and Death of Oregon Cattle King Peter French 1849-1897 by Edward Gray


(includes S&H) / Agincourt Research Services 62142 Cody Jr. Rd. / Bend, OR 97701 [emailprotected]


per pair plus $2.50 shipping

New Improved All Metal


Fine quality stainless steel and heat-treated aluminum, these are in general use throughout the West. Available in 2” width with vertical posts and 2 1/2” and 3” widths with horizontal posts for standard holes.

Worried About The Back Trail” Gouache, 12” X 10” art print $45 plus S&H


per pair plus $2.50 shipping

PLEASE ADD $2.50 per pair S/H Blevins Mfg. Co.

615 Ferguson Rd. Wheatland, Wyoming 82201 T R U E



Check out BBB’s new website where he posts his daily whipouts.



COWBOY CAPITAL CHRISTMAS Bandera, TX, December 4-5: Celebrate Christmas in the self-proclaimed “Cowboy Capital of the World” with a parade, living nativity and history re-enactments. 800-364-3833 • AUC TIO N

PREMIER FIREARMS AUCTION Online, December 4-6: Collectible weapons are up for bid by the world’s leading auction house for historical firearms and military artifacts. 800-238-8022 • HOLIDAY


CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE Canyon, TX, December 4-5: History re-enactors open up Pioneer Town for an 1890s holiday celebration featuring live music and storytelling. 806-651-2244 • CHRISTMAS AT OLD FORT CONCHO San Angelo, TX, December 4-6: This 1867 fort celebrates the different cultures of Texas with living history and 1800s holiday entertainment. 325-657-4441 • PRESCOTT COURTHOUSE CHRISTMAS LIGHTING Prescott, AZ, December 5: “Arizona’s Christmas City” kicks off the holidays with a Christmas tree lighting ceremony and a visit from Santa Claus. 928-777-1100 •

HIGH PLAINS CHRISTMAS Gering, NE, December 5: This High Plains holiday celebration features hayrack rides, marshmallow roasting and cowboy coffee around a bonfire. 308-436-1989 • COWBOYS ON MAIN Bandera, TX, December 5: Strolling entertainers and history re-enactments bring the holidays to life in front of the Bandera County Courthouse. 830-796-4447 • CHRISTMAS PAST AND PRESENT Grand Island, NE, December 5-12: This lamp-lit tour of Railroad Town includes live music and the sights, sounds, smells and spirit of Christmas. 308-385-5316 • NORTH POLE ADVENTURE TRAIN Lewistown, MT, December 5-19: Enjoy hot cocoa and sing Christmas carols on a ride to meet Santa onboard the Charlie Russell Chew Choo. 406-535-5436 • LIGHT OF THE WORLD CHRISTMAS PAGEANT Minden, NE, December 6 & 13: Minden celebrates “100 Years of Lights” with 15,000 lights strung from the courthouse and throughout downtown. 308-832-1811 •

CHRISTMAS IN OLD DODGE CITY Dodge City, KS, Closes Dec. 25: This 1872 cowtown celebrates the holidays with a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, a chili cook-off and a light parade. 800-653-9378 •





Bad Men, Outlaws & GunfiGhters (soft cover only)

Illustrated bios, featuring many never-before published images.


*Plus s&h

Check out his other books on our web site!

1880 TRAIN HOLIDAY EXPRESS Hill City, SD, December 12-23: Take a journey from Hill City to the “North Pole,” where Santa Claus will be waiting to board the genuine 1880 steam train. 605-574-2222 • FORT LARNED CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE Larned, KS, December 12: Travel back to Fort Larned in 1859 for an old-fashioned Yuletide celebration with Christmas carols and hot cider. 620-285-6911 •

COWBOY CHRISTMAS POETRY GATHERING Wickenburg, AZ, December 4-5: Hear performances by some of the nation’s best cowboy poets at this holiday celebration. 928-684-0977 •

CHRISTMAS AT THE CODY’S North Platte, NE, December 18-22: Celebrate the holidays in Buffalo Bill Cody’s 1886 mansion with caroling and horse-drawn rides. 308-535-0835 •

BAR D WRANGLERS CHRISTMAS JUBILEE Durango, CO, December 17: Country crooners perform their traditional Christmas show with Western music and poetry and humor. 970-247-3500 •





CHRISTMAS WITH THE CELTS Deadwood, SD, December 3: Partake in a Celtic Christmas celebration, featuring a combination of traditional Scottish/Irish music. 605-559-1187 •

WRANGLER NATIONAL FINALS RODEO Las Vegas, NV, December 3-12: Fifteen contestants compete for titles in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping and more.


NOW! Twelve Issues for


– BY ROCKIN U PHOTOGRAPHY – {1.855.592.9943} T R U E



CHRISTMAS PARADE OF LIGHTS Wickenburg, AZ, December 11: Colorfully-lit floats parade through the streets while Santa and Mrs. Claus ride through historic downtown. 928-684-5479 •

COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS PARADE Pecos, TX, December 4: Watch a Christmas parade, with brightly decorated floats and live music, in the town that boasts hosting the world’s first rodeo, in 1883. 432-445-2406 •

January 9-10, 2016 at the th Mesa Convention Center, Centennial n Hall Bldg. C,201 N. Cente Center Street Mesa, AZ 85201

✪ Collector Firearms ✪ Hunting Hun i g Rifles ifl s ✪ Curio Relic and Vintage Shotguns S s

(Appraisals upon Request)

Friday, January 8th: 9am - 6pm 6 m LIGHTS AMONG THE RUINS Jemez Springs, NM, December 12: American Indian ruins illuminate with luminarias as the air fills with traditional flute music. 575-829-3530 • T RA DE

Limited Vendor space is still stil available! b ! Call Celeste for additional information i fo io p day. or to place your order today.


COUNTRY CHRISTMAS Las Vegas, NV, December 3-13: More than 400 vendors, exhibitors and retailers have their finest Cowboy Christmas gifts on display. 817-599-7664 •

Saturday, January 9th: 9-5pm 9-5p Sunday, January 10th: 9-3pm

View Western events on our website.

Buena Performing Arts Center Sierra Vista, Arizona

February 5, 6 & 7, 2016 520-508-9359 WWW.COWBOYPOETS.COM

Don miss Don’t i this i chance to see s Antique iq and Collector Co o firearms fi s with w a wide wi selection off dealers from fr alll over ov the country to shop from. fo .




GET ’EM Order yours before they are gone! True West is one of the most collectible history magazines in the world. (Back issues ssues have sold for as high as $300!) Collect your favorites now, as the love for history will never go out of date!

Dec-2000 Mountain Men

Jan-2001 Topless Gunfighter

May/Jun-2001 Custer

Feb/Mar-2001 Wyatt Earp

Nov/Dec-2002 Butch & Sundance

Jul-2003 Doc & Wyatt

Mar-2004 Fakes/Fake Doc

Sep-2004 Wild Bunch

Jun-2005 Jesus Out West

Dec-2006 Buffalo Gals & Guys

Oct-2006 Tombstone/125th OK Corral

Oct-2007 3:10 to Yuma

Oct-2008 Charlie Russell

Sep-2009 500 Yrs Before Cowboys

Nov/Dec-2010 Black Warriors of the West

Apr-2011 True Grit/Bridges & Wayne

Jun-2012 Wyatt on the Set

Jul-2012 Deadly Trackers

Jan-2013 John Wayne

Mar-2013 Arizona Rangers

Nov-2013 Soiled Doves

WHILE THEY LAST! Complete Your Collection 2000 o o o o o o o o o o o o


Jan: Buffalo Bill Feb: Chief Buffalo Horn Mar: Richard Farnsworth Apr: Lotta Crabtree May: Samuel Walker Jun: Frontier Half-Bloods Jul: Billy & the Kids Aug: John Wayne Sep: Border Breed Oct: Halloween Issue Nov: Apache Scout Dec: Mountain Men

Jan/Feb: Six Guns Mar: Fakes/Fake Doc April/Travel: Visit the Old West May:Iron Horse/Sacred Dogs Jun: HBO’s Deadwood Jul: 17 Legends Aug: JW Hardin Sep: Wild Bunch Oct: Bill Pickett Nov/Dec: Dale Evans

o o o o o o o o o o

Jan/Feb: Rare Photos Mar: Deadwood/McShane Apr: 77 Sunset Trips May: Trains/Collector’s Edition Jun: Jesus Out West Jul: All Things Cowboy Aug: History of Western Wear Sep: Gambling Oct: Blaze Away/Wyattt Nov/Dec: Gay Western? Killer DVDs

o o o o o o o o o o

Jan/Feb: Mexican Insurgents Mar: Kit Carson Apr: I’ve Been Everywhere, Man May: The Racial Frontier Jun: Playing Sports in the OW Jul/Aug: Dude! Where’s My Ranch? Sep: Indian Yell Oct: Tombstone/125th Ok Corral Nov: Gambling Dec: Buffalo Gals & Guys


2001 o o o o o o o o

o o o o o o o o o o

Jan: Topless Gunfighter Feb/Mar: Wyatt Earp Apr: Geronimo Smiling May/Jun: Custer Jul: Cowboys & Cowtowns Aug/Sep: Wild Bill Oct: Redman Nov/Dec: Doc Holiday



o Jan: Uncommon Men o Feb/Mar: Alamo o Apr: The Scout o May/Jun: Wayward Women o Jul: Texas Rangers o Aug/Sep: Jesse James o Oct: Billy On The Brain o Nov/Dec: Butch & Sundance

2003 o Jan: 50 Historical Photos o Feb/Mar: 50 Guns o Apr: John Wayne o Spring: Jackalope Creator Dies o May/Jun: Custer Killer o Jul: Doc & Wyatt o Aug/Sep: A General Named Dorothy o Oct: Vera McGinnis o Nov/Dec: Worst Westerns Ever

2007 o o o o o o o

Jan/Feb: Cowboys Are Indians Mar: Trains/Jim Clark Apr: Western Travel May: Dreamscape Desperado/Billy Jun: Collecting the West/Photos Jul: Man Who Saved The West Aug: Western Media/Best Reads

o Sep: Endurance Of The Horse o Oct: 3:10 To Yuma o Nov/Dec: Brad Pitt & Jesse James

2008 o o o o o o o o o o

Jan/Feb: Pat Garrett/No Country Mar: Who Killed the Train? Apr: Travel/Geronimo May: Who Stole Buffalo Bill’s Home? Jun: The Last Cowboy President? Jul: Secrets of Our Nat’l Parks/Teddy Aug: Kendricks Northern CBs/Photos Sep: Saloons & Stagecoaches Oct: Charlie Russell Nov/Dec: Mickey Free

o o o o o o o o o o

Jan/Feb: Border Riders Mar: Poncho Villa Apr: Stagecoach May: Battle For The Alamo Jun: Custer’s Ride To Glory Jul: Am West, Then & Now Aug: Wild West Shows Sep: Vaquero/500 Yrs Before CBs Oct: Capturing Billy Nov/Dec: Chaco Canyon

o o o o o o o o o o

Jan/Feb: Top 10 WesternTowns Mar: Trains/Pony Express Apr: OW Destinations/Clint Eastwood May: Legendary Sonny Jim Jun: Extreme Western Adventures Jul: Starvation Trail/AZ Rough Riders Aug: Digging Up Billy the Kid Sep: Classic Rodeo! Oct: Extraordinary Western Art Nov/Dec: Black Warriors of the West




o o o o o o o

May: Historic Ranches Jun: Tin Type Billy Jul: Viva, Outlaw Women! Aug: Was Geronimo A Terrorist? Sep: Western Museums/CBs & Aliens Oct: Hard Targets Nov/Dec: Butch Cassidy is Back

o o o o o o o o o o o

Feb: Az Crazy Road to Statehood Mar: Special Entertainment Issue Apr: Riding Shotgun with History May: The Outlaw Cowboys of NM Jun: Wyatt On The Set! July: Deadly Trackers Aug: How Did Butch & Sundance Die? Sep: The Heros of Northfield Oct: Bravest Lawman You Never Nov: Armed & Courageous Dec: Legend of Climax Jim


2013 o Jan: Best of the West/John Wayne o Feb: Rocky Mountain Rangers o Mar: Arizona Rangers o Apr: US Marshals o May: Texas Rangers o Jun: Doc’s Last Gunfight o Jul: Comanche Killers! o Aug: Tombstone 20th Annv o Sep: Ambushed on the Pecos o Oct: Outlaws,Lawmen & Gunfighters o Nov: Soiled Doves o Dec: Cowboy Ground Zero

2014 o o o o

Jan: Best 100 Historical Phtoos Feb: Assn. of Pat Garrett Mar: Stand-up Gunfights Apr: Wyatt Earp Alaska

o Jan/Feb: Sweethearts of the Rodeo o Mar: 175th Anniv Battle of the Alamo o Apr: Three True Grits

See the complete collection of available back issues online at the True West Store! 1-888-687-1881

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official state historian and the vice president of the Wild West History Association. His latest book is Arizona’s Outlaws and Lawmen. If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at [emailprotected]

Jail is the Pits

BY Marshall TriMBle

What were Old West jails like?

Prisoners in Wickenburg, Arizona, were chained to this roughly 200-year-old mesquite tree. Press the button at the site today, and you can listen to our own Marshall Trimble tell more history.

Richard Olson Bagley, Minnesota

For the most part, the Hollywood cliché of a frontier jail, with open bars on the window and cell, did not exist Some Old West jails were elaborate. In 1874, the citizens of Helena, Montana, spent $11,000 ($214,000 in today’s dollars) on a tall, red brick structure that contained six cells, an exercise hall, a kitchen and a bunkhouse for the guards. Most jails were crude. Prisoners were tied to logs, telegraph poles or trees. In Lincoln, New Mexico, Henry “Billy the Kid” McCarty and outlaw pals were kept in a pit jail—a hole in the ground with a trapdoor beneath the jailer’s house.

How was Morgan Earp killed? Ron Lervold Chandler, Arizona

In Tombstone, Arizona, on March 18, 1882, an assassin fired a rifle through the back door window of Bob Hatch and John Campbell’s saloon, killing Morgan Earp while he was playing a game of billiards. The first shot hit Morgan in the spine, and the second hit the wall near where his brother Wyatt was sitting. Frank Stilwell was one of the men fingered as the killer, and Wyatt killed him in the Tucson train yard on March 20.

This photo is often misidentified as Bob Hatch and John Campbell’s saloon—but the saloon burned down in May 1882, and the famous Anheuser-Busch artwork, Custer’s Last Fight (right foreground), was painted in 1896. Even so, the billiards table and doors in back were probably positioned the same the night Morgan Earp was murdered. – COuRtEsy ARizOnA HistORiCAl sOCiEty liBRARy –

t r u e


w e st

– PHOtO By JOHnny D. BOggs –

What happened to Pancho Villa’s henchman Rodolfo Fierro? Chuck Shumway Dewey, Arizona

Rodolfo Fierro, known as El Carnicero, or the Butcher, was Pancho Villa’s most loyal pistolero. Anecdotal stories of Fierro’s brutal killings are legend. On one occasion, he got into an argument over whether a man falls forward or backward when shot. The other guy claimed the man would

fall backward. “Forward,” said Fierro, pulling his gun and proving the point by shooting the man—who fell forward. On October 14, 1915, Fierro died after being thrown from his horse while crossing a muddy stream that turned out to be quicksand. He was packing a cache of gold coins that helped pull him under. He ordered his men to pull him out, but they kept missing with their ropes, and he finally slipped beneath the surface.

How was Wild Bill Hickok killed? James Patrick Gaines Orangevale, California

Shortly past noon on August 2, 1876, James “Wild Bill” Hickok walked into Bill

Morgan Earp

Raised on the MotheR Road Wild Bill Hickok

This 1877 photograph of Deadwood, Dakota Territory, shows the general location of the No. 10 Saloon—located by the gun shop. – Courtesy JeannIne Guern ColleCtIon -

Nuttall and Carl Mann’s No. 10 Saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, where several men were playing poker. Charlie Rich was sitting in the wall seat, a spot Hickok preferred, to protect himself from back shooters. Twice, Hickok asked Rich to give up the seat, yet Rich refused. Grudgingly, Hickok sat down between Rich and Mann, where he could see the front door. Jack McCall walked in the front door and moved to the end of the bar before walking up behind Hickok. The famous lawman was busy checking his cards and paid McCall no mind. When McCall was within three feet, he raised his Navy Colt revolver and shouted, “Damn you, take that!” as he fired. The ball entered the back of Hickok’s head and exited from the center of the right cheek, causing instant death.

Were Indian War soldiers ordered to crush empty shell casings so Indians could not reload them? Chuck Doire Healdsburg, California

Commanders did order frontier U.S. Army troops not to leave anything behind that could be found by the Indians and made into a weapon. As an example of Indian creativity, during the 1860s, the Sioux ingeniously punched holes in abandoned shell cases and jammed a percussion cap in the hole. They used a small stone as an anvil inside the shell case to explode the cap. Then they poured powder in the case, pressed a lead ball on the end and presto—a self-contained cartridge.

What Was it like gRoWing up on the WoRld’s Most faMous tWo-lane blacktop blacktop? Ra is ed on th e M ot he R Ro ad

F i nd out in the ne w book by Bob Boze Bel Be l

Av A ilA B le N O w !

order your copy at: or or call 1-888-687-1881 1-888 687 1881 gRoWing up

on Route 66,

the WoRld’s

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ous tWo-lane blacktop bob bo Ze bell

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Yellow Journalism: A photograph credited as showing the flying monster of Tombstone, Arizona, even though no photo was published in the April 26, 1890, article published by the Tombstone Epitaph.

Old West journalism was highly entertaining, often partisan, big on boosterism, rife with misspelled words and potentially dangerous as rival editors sometimes squared off in the street to settle a dispute. When The Arizona Republic started on May 19, 1890, it was known as The Arizona Republican. Rival newspapers were quick to let folks know that the territorial governor and attorney general were calling the shots as owners of the new Phoenix paper. While the Phoenix paper pledged to publish the truth, the Tombstone Epitaph, just a few weeks earlier, reported that two Arizona ranchers had shot and killed a flying monster. The creature, dubbed today as the “Tombstone Thunderbird,” reportedly resembled a huge alligator with a 160-foot wingspan. The Republican never picked up the story, possibly because the Epitaph never followed up on the tall tale. The 1890s Arizona was a wide-open territory with marauding outlaws and gunfighters, but the times were changing, with the growth of farming, ranching and mining. About a third of the territory’s 90,000 residents were American Indians. Arizona finally became a state in 1912. The biggest 19th-century story our newspaper broke was an 1899 expose that a huge gold, silver and copper strike at the Spenazuma Mine in southeastern Arizona was fabricated by a New York swindler in order to sell almost $3 million of worthless stock. Reporter George H. Smalley turned down a $5,000 offer from the con man to retract his story. True West Moments provides a wonderful snapshot of the most notorious and fascinating people and events of the Old West. True fact: The Arizona Republic has run the feature every week for nearly five years—and Bob Boze Bell has never missed a deadline. After 26 years at The Arizona Republic, I look back on how fortunate I was to work for the paper and to do two things I most enjoy: talk with all kinds of people and write about it.

KEN WESTERN, NEWSMAN After working 26 years as an editorial page editor and business reporter for The Arizona Republic, Ken Western helps True West commemorate the newspaper’s 125th anniversary. Western led the charge behind publishing our magazine’s True West Moments in the paper. He previously worked for the now-defunct Colorado Springs Sun, the Star-Herald in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, and Montana State University. He now researches and reports on economic development for the Phoenix-based IO.INC and the Morrison Institute for Public Policy. Unfortunately, the decline of print has resulted in two out of five news professionals losing their jobs since 2006.

The most interesting Old West character is—maybe because I live in Arizona—Wyatt Earp, whose roughly 30-second shoot-out near Tombstone’s O.K. Corral was one part of a storied life. Most people don’t know I am vendor chairman for Greer Days, a two-day celebration held every June in the picturesque village of Greer in the White Mountains of Arizona.

Editing the editorial page requires passion, moral purpose, leadership and a commitment to the community. It also requires adhering to Rule No. 1: Never publish an editorial that the publisher hasn’t signed off on.

What’s with the jokes that can’t be told on college

The newspaper business today is moving rapidly to a digital world, where news is reported instantly and the breadth of information and commentary is astounding.

If I could go back in time, I’d love to see California when it was almost untouched and the redwood forests were in all their glory.




campuses because comics don’t dare offend today’s oh-so-sensitive students?

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• The Esteemed Mac McCroskie Collection • The Award Winning Collection of Ralf Eyster • The Royal Hunt Collection of Imperial German Hunting Trophies “From From Commodore Morris USN/to/Edward Z.C. Judson”

R Colt Belt Model Rare Paterson Revolver No. 2// E e Fifth Model ode Pistol o Ehlers

“Taken at the of the/British Frigate Guerriere in 1812/ e capture p g 1812 by an officer of the U.S./Frigate Constitution” Constitu Captured War of 1812 British HMS Guerriere Sword Inscribed to EEdward d Z.C. Judson A.K.A. Famed Wild West Dime Novelist Ned Buntline Bu e

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