Jim Taylor (1852-1875) - The son of
Pitkin Taylor, Jim swore revenge on the
Sutton faction when his father died
in 1873 during the
Sutton-Taylor feud .
He quickly assumed his father’s leadership role and aimed for Sutton faction
Sutton. On April 1, 1873, he led a
band of men to a Cuero,
Texas saloon and
shot at Sutton
through the door, wounding him. He again tried to kill him in June, but
was able to escape. In July, Jim Taylor and
John Wesley Hardin
along with his wife and friends, Gabriel Slaughter and his wife, tried to leave
the country by boarding a steamer at
Indianola, Texas on March 11, 1874, the two men
were shot down by Jim and his brother,
Billy. Retaliation from the Sutton group continued
until December 27, 1875, when Jim was charged by a Sutton posse in
and he was
killed. After his death, the feud finally began to lose its steam.
John "Jack" Hays Taylor (1842-1869) -
Jack was the son of renowned
Though Jack inherited his father's talent with guns, he obviously didn't
follow in his footsteps as a hero. The Taylors were an anti-Reconstruction
family and staunch Confederate supporters, which would later lead to the
notorious Sutton-Taylor feud.
However, before that began, Jack already found himself in trouble. In
November, 1867, Jack and his brother
Phillip were visiting in Fort
when they were harassed by Union soldiers. When one of the soldier's
knocked Jack's hat to the ground, Taylor calmly drew his pistol and shot
him. More soldiers quickly gathered around the Taylor brothers attempting
to arrest them, but a gunfight broke out and the Taylors shot and killed
an army sergeant before fleeing out of town. In the meantime, the
Sutton-Taylor feud was brewing on their home ground of DeWitt County, Texas.
August 23, 1869, the Suttons, who were also law officers, had an excuse to
go after the Taylor brothers due to the killing of the soldiers. As Jack
were riding in the early morning near their father's ranch, they came upon
a posse of Sutton "Regulators" led by
When the Sutton group opened fire on the pair, Jack and Phillip
fought back. When the smoke cleared Phillip
was wounded but able to escape. However, Jack was killed, but not before
he had hit five of the "Regulators."
Phillip G. Taylor, aka: Do'boy (1843-1871)
and son of
Phillip was with his brother,
when he killed to cavalry soldiers at Fort Mason,
The Taylors were an anti-Reconstruction southern
family and staunch Confederate supporters and the killing of the soldiers
gave the reconstructionist Suttons an excuse to go after the pair during
the notorious Sutton-Taylor feud. On August 23, 1869, the Suttons, who were also
law officers, ambushed the Taylor brothers as they were riding in the
early morning near their father's ranch. Led by Sutton "Regulator"
the group opened fire on the pair, and
and Phillip fought back. When the smoke cleared Phillip was wounded in the
arm, but able to escape. However,
was killed, but not before he had hit five of the "Regulators."
was again attacked the following month when he was at the house of a friend on
September 7th. As Phillip, along with two friends named Keeleson and Cook were
leaving the home of William Conner on the Neches River, they were ambushed by
Sutton Regulators. Kelleson was killed, but Taylor and Cook retreated and fought
back. However, when they ran out of ammunition, they were forced to surrender.
Amazingly, they were not killed immediately and were able to escape that
evening. The next time, Phillip would not be so lucky. In November, 1871, he was
in Kerrville, Texas, where he was
trying to get a job that belonged to a man named Sim Holstein. The two soon
quarreled about it and when Taylor pulled his pistol and fired, he missed.
Holstein; however, didn't, pumping three shots into him. Phillip lived for six
hours, bitterly cussing his nemesis before he died.
(18??-1873) - A gunman and brother to renowned
Pitkin led the Taylors in the
Sutton-Taylor feud which began in 1868.
The Sutton faction, many of which were lawmen, had been aggressive in killing
off the Taylors and Pitkin's death would be no different. Typical of the methods
often utilized by the Sutton group, they tricked him into coming out of his
house in the October of 1872. Hiding in a cornfield, Sutton sympathizers lured
him out the door by ringing a cowbell. When Pitkin came out of the house he was
shot and seriously wounded. Though he initially survived, he died six months
later. His son, Jim Taylor, swore revenge upon his killers, further fueling the
William "Billy' Taylor (18??-1875) - The son of
Pitkin Taylor, and brother of
Jim Taylor ,
Billy fought with other family members in the
Sutton-Taylor feud, especially after his
father was killed.
On March 11, 1874, Billy and his brother
Sutton and Gabriel Slaughter as they tried to flee
on board a
steamship bound for New Orleans. Billy was later arrested for the crime and
Indianola but when that seaside
town was hit with a hurricane on September 15, 1875, the prisoners were let out
in order to spare their lives. Though they were ordered to return, they didn't. Later that year,
Jim was killed by a Sutton posse in Clinton,
Texas on December
27, 1875 and the feud was soon over. in 1877, Taylor was arrested and was placed
in an Austin,
with other notorious inmates which included
John Wesley Hardin,
Johnny Ringo, and
members of the Sam Bass Gang. He was later released and in 1878 found himself in
jail again in Cuero,
horse theft, assault, and forgery. However, either the charges were dropped or he
received a short sentence, because he was said to have been in Kimball County in
1881. Afterwards, he moved to Indian Territory, where family members said he
became a lawman and was killed in the line of duty.
Edwin "Ed" Tewksbury (18??-1904) - A gunman
and lawman, Edwin moved with his family to the Pleasant Valley of
in 1880 where they raised cattle. Some years later, with his father,
John, and brothers, James and John, Jr., they began to raise sheep,
which to the local cattlemen, was abominable. The Tewksburys quickly
found themselves at odds with the Hash Knife
cowboys and the nearby ranching family of the Grahams. The
believed that sheep ruined grazing land for cattle and began to ambush
the Tewksburys. The feud between the two factions became known as the
Pleasant Valley War. The first time,
when several cowboys
tried to sneak up on the Tewsburys at their camp in 1887, Edwin spied
them, shouted a warning and Jim Tewsbury shot and killed one of them.
Later that year, on September 2nd, their camp was ambushed again and
John Tewsbury, Jr. and a man named Bill Jacobs were killed. The
hostilities in the area soon ended; however, years later, John Graham
was shot and fatally wounded on August 2, 1892 near Tempe, Arizona.
Before he died the next day, he stated that the shooters were Ed
Tewksbury and John Roades. The two men were arrested but eventually were
acquitted. Later, Edwin became a constable in Globe County, then deputy sheriff of Gila County. He died
of natural causes in Globe, Arizona.
James "Jim” Tewksbury (18??-1888) -
Brother of Edwin Tewksbury, Jim was also involved in the Pleasant Valley
against opposing cowboys.
After the Graham's offered a $500 reward for the death of any
sheepherder and a $1,000 reward for the deaths of patriarch, John
Tewksbury and his son, John, Jr., Jim got actively involved in the feud.
The Tewksburys were forced to move their herds from camp to camp and
when several cowboys
planned to ambush them, Jim killed one of the Hash Knife cowboys.
On August 10, 1887, eight cowboys
retaliated by storming his home. In the ultimate gunfight,
Hampton Blevins and John Paine were killed, and three others wounded.
Though the feud was winding down, Jim did not survive long, as he died
of consumption the following year.
"Ben" Thompson, aka: Shotgun Ben (1843-1884) - Born in
Knottingly, Yorkshire, England
on November, 2 1843, the Thompson
family immigrated to the United States in 1851. Settling in Austin,
became a printer working for various
Austin newspapers. At the age of 15, he wounded his first man, in an
argument about his shooting abilities. By 1859,
had moved to New Orleans where he worked for a bookbinder and killed his
first man when he saw him abusing a woman. When the
began, he returned to Texas,
enlisting with the 2nd Texas
Cavalry. After fatally shooting a teamster in an argument in May, 1865, he
fled to Mexico.
William "Texas Billy” Thompson
(1845-1897) – Brother to more famous gunman
Ben Thompson, Billy was
described as "mean, vicious, vindictive and totally unpredictable.” When
Billy was just a boy, he and brother,
Ben, emigrated from Yorkshire, England
with their family to Austin,
in 1851. During the
both men enlisted in the Texas Mounted Rifles. After the war, federal troops
for several years and in March, 1868; Billy was involved in a gunfight with
Private William Burk. After killing the soldier, the Thompson fled. Two months
later he killed another man in Rockport,
and when a warrant was issued for his arrest, he was on the run again, first to
and then to Kansas.
Billy made the acquaintance of a dance hall girl and prostitute named
Elizabeth "Libby” Haley. Better known as "Squirrel
Tooth Alice,” the pair quickly began an affair that would eventually lead to
marriage and nine children. Making his
living as a gambler, he and his brother Ben, were both in
April, 1873. Four months later, in August, Billy killed
Sheriff Chauncey Whitney
and was on the run again.
in trouble for one thing or another, Billy and Libby were constantly moving. He
was finally caught up with by
Texas Rangers in October 1876, and was extradited
to Kansas. Amazingly, he was acquitted of the murder of Sheriff Whitney.
Afterwards, he made his way to Dodge City,
Kansas. Later, he
was known to have been in
Nebraska, before he and Libby finally settled down in Sweetwater,
There, he purchased and worked a ranch, while she established a brothel in town.
In 1884, he was reportedly in
San Antonio and witnessed his brother being gunned
down by assassins. Amazingly, he took no revenge on his brother’s killers. On
September 6, 1897, William Thompson died from a stomach ailment at the age of
Tom Tucker - A cowboy,
Tucker seemingly best liked using his shooting skills in feuding. While working
with the Hash Knife Outfit in
he got involved in the Pleasant Valley War
until he was nearly killed in a shoot-out. After he recovered, he then made his
way to Tularosa,
where he hired on with cattle baron, Oliver Lee, and soon got caught up in Lee's
feuds with area ranchers. Somewhere along the line, Tucker also worked as an
under sheriff in
He died in
Davis "Dave" Tutt
(1839-1865) - Tutt was born in Yellville,
because of his father's involvement in the Tutt-Everett Feud he became
experienced with gunfighting at an early age. He joined the Confederate Army in
1862, where he worked as a wagon master. When he was released, he made his way
where he primarily "worked" as a gambler. In July of 1865, he
Hickok, when they were both playing cards in the same saloon. On one day
when they were playing
Hickok lost at the gaming table and when
couldn’t pay up, Dave Tutt took
gold pocket watch for security.
growled that if Tutt so much as used the timepiece, he would kill him. However, on July 21, 1865, the two met in the public square and Tutt
was proudly wearing the watch for all to see. This insult of course
led to a
At a distance of about 75 yards, the two faced off. Tutt's shot missed
Hickok's hit the other man in the chest. The wounded man then
stumbled for about twenty feet before he finally fell to the ground
dead. Dave Tutt's body was buried in the
Springfield City Cemetery, but was later moved to the Maple Park
Cemetery, where it it is today. The site is marked
with a gravestone showing a carved pocket watch, playing cards and
of America, updated April, 2017.