Justice in the Old West –or- A Day in Dodge City Court

 

From—Great Gunfighters of the Kansas Cowtowns 1867-1886, page 171,

 Nyle H. Miller and Joseph W. Snell

“The Marshal will preserve strict order,” said the Judge. “Any person caught throwing turnips, cigar stumps, beets, or old quids of tobacco at this court, will be immediately arranged before this bar of justice.” The Policeman Joe W. Mason looked savagely at the mob in attendance, hitched his ivory handle a little to the left and adjusted his moustache. “Trot out the wicked and unfortunate, and let the cotillion commence,” said his Honor.

Ah—the good old beet and turnip throwing days.  How I miss them.

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Published in: on March 27, 2010 at 1:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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Just for Fun – It’s Spring

 

The tall stranger bellied up to the counter and watched as the patrons lowered their heads and shuffled away. A wry smile turned the corners of his mouth into his drooping mustache. He dug in his pocket and pulled out a weathered dollar bill, unfolded it and placed it on the counter. He didn’t have to say a word—they all knew and they all watched.

The bar-keep reached slowly, after first making eye contact he couldn’t hold, under the counter and pulled out a clean mug, filled it, and carefully sat the still foaming mug in front of the tall stranger with the big thirst. Then he turned again reaching low, a glint of metal showed in his right hand. His hand came up quickly, but not too fast and placed a large scoop of vanilla ice cream into the glass.

The stranger nodded, pulled the paper end from his straw and shot the barkeep with the paper in the center of his chest. The patrons fell silent and moved farther from the action as the tall stranger took a long cool drink. Man-oh-man how the stranger loved the first Monday of spring—Root Beer floats, only a buck every Monday until June 1st.

Five minutes later it was all over, as fast as it had started. The glass was empty, the stranger smiled and wiped the dripping root beer flavored ice cream from his mustache with the back of his straw paper shooting hand. He stepped back as the other patrons held their breath—what would happen next.

He turned walked three steps, pushed open the glass door and walked once again into the stifling mid-day heat. Inside the patrons let out a collective sigh and ordered floats all around.

Published in: on March 21, 2010 at 8:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bad Guy–But It’s Still Kind of Funny

Wyoming bad guy George W. Pike was once accused by a neighbor of stealing a pot of stew cooking on a stove in the wall tent they were temporarily calling home. When the neighbor went to find the town marshal Pike reportedly watched him go then stole the stove the stew had been cooked on. Reportedly there was not enough evidence to convict Pike on either charge. Pike was better known as a horse and cattle thief but was never the less well liked by people in and around Douglas Wyoming. (At least the ones he did not steal from)

   George W. Pike (Born around 1863- died 1906)          

 Grave Stone, Douglas Park Cemetery – Douglas, Wyoming

Underneath this stone in eternal rest
Sleeps the wildest one of the wayward west
He was a gambler and sport and cowboy too
And he led the pace in an outlaw crew
He was sure on the trigger and staid to the end
But he was never known to quit on a friend
In the relations of death all men are alike
But in life there was only one George W. Pike

__________________________________________

Published in: on March 18, 2010 at 2:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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Bad Guy but a Fun Guy – George W. Pike

Wyoming bad guy George W. Pike was once accused by a neighbor of stealing a pot of stew cooking on a stove in the wall tent they were temporarily calling home. When the neighbor went to find the town marshal Pike reportedly watched him go then stole the stove the stew had been cooked on. Reportedly there was not enough evidence to convict Pike on either charge. Pike was better known as a horse and cattle thief but was never the less well liked by people in and around Douglas Wyoming. (At least the ones he did not steal from)

   George W. Pike (Born around 1863- died 1906)          

 Grave Stone, Douglas Park Cemetery – Douglas, Wyoming

Underneath this stone in eternal rest
Sleeps the wildest one of the wayward west
He was a gambler and sport and cowboy too
And he led the pace in an outlaw crew
He was sure on the trigger and staid to the end
But he was never known to quit on a friend
In the relations of death all men are alike
But in life there was only one George W. Pike

__________________________________________

Published in: on March 13, 2010 at 3:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Last Old West Gunfight – ?

 

On Labor Day in 1912, Hartville Wyoming located at the head of Eureka Canyon in Platte County may have been the sight of the last old west main street gun fight.  Not much is known about the fight other than two men emptied their revolvers in the general direction of each other and it was all over—no bloodshed. Stories change in a hundred years but the one I like best starts with two cowboys on their day off enjoying a few beers in one of the local bars. The two punchers argued then took the fight outside. This is where the stories differ—did they really try to kill each other? Some remember the two being at least, “a fair peace apart, maybe too far, when they drew.” Onlookers were not impressed with either cowboy’s quick draw or marksmanship. Locals listed two windows and one hitching rail injured. Reportedly,  the  would be gunfighters  returned to the bar after the high-noon showdown and went back to what they were better at, drinking and swapping lies about how good they were with a gun and a rope.  (Maybe they skipped the gun stuff)  If one of the bullets had accidentally killed one of the cowboys they could have been buried in Hartville’s Boot Hill Cemetery on the south side of the time hamlet of 40 people.

 

Published in: on March 10, 2010 at 3:11 am  Leave a Comment  
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Wyoming’s Cowboy Code

Only in wyoming could a state legislature pass their very own Cowboy Code.

The Cowboy Code—Taken from the Laramie Boomerang 2010

 Live courageously

 Take pride in their work

 Finish what they start

Do what’s necessary

 Be tough but fair

 Keep promises

 Ride for the brand

 Talk less and say more

 Remember that some things aren’t for sale

  Know where to draw the line

Published in: on March 9, 2010 at 1:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Really Big Wyoming Ranch

Doing research for a short magazine peace I am working on.

Swan Land and Cattle Company in Chugwater Wyoming –  (southeast Wyoming)

Over 3 million acres, 100+ brands and nearly 100,000 cattle (actual count not book count).

 The ranch was owned by investors in Scotland managed by Alexander Swan.

 It was Wyoming’s largest 1880’s ranch. Some of the original buildings still stand.

They knew how to built a real cattle operation back then!

Published in: on March 2, 2010 at 3:27 am  Leave a Comment  
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