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Old West Legends IconFRONTIER LEGENDS

Complete List of Old West Lawmen

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The Old West was often a lawless place, where outlaws frequently reigned supreme. However, as more and more families, women, and working pioneers headed westward, they demanded law and order. Marshals and sheriffs were in high demand in some of the most lawless settlements, such as Dodge City, Kansas and Las Vegas, New Mexico, as well as the numerous mining camps that dotted the west, such as Deadwood , South Dakota; Coloma, California; and Leadville, Colorado.

 

Many of wild and rowdy places were initially populated by men and often attracted seedier elements of society to their many saloons, dance halls, gambling parlors and brothels. But, in any burgeoning community, there were also lawful businessmen and hard-working pioneers who craved a sense of stability, and demanding law and order, made efforts to hire peacekeepers. Where this was not possible or the lawmen were ineffective, invariably vigilante groups would form.

   

Though the vast majority of these Old West lawmen were honorable and heroic figures, ironically, many of them rode both sides of the fence and can be found on both our Lawmen List as well as our Outlaw List.

 

 

"The execution of the laws is more important than the making of them."

 

-- Thomas Jefferson

 

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