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Old West Lawmen - G

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Peter Gabriel - A prominent lawman in Pima County, Arizona in the 1880s, Gabriel pursued the Red Jack Gang and numerous other bandits. By 1883, he was the Sheriff of Pima County. It was during this time that he was forced to fire one of his deputies, one Joe Phy, for disorderly and drunken conduct. He later arrested him in Case Grande, Arizona for assault. This began a feud throughout the sheriff's election in 1888, which Gabriel won. However, on May 3, 1888, both men were drinking in the Tunnel Saloon in Florence, Arizona, when they began to argue. Before long, the argument escalated and Phy went out on the street, calling Gabriel out. Both men went for the guns and a blazing gunfight occurred. After eleven shots had been fired, Gabriel was wounded in the groin and in the chest and staggered to a nearby stable where he collapsed. Miraculously, he would survive. Fly; however, was not so lucky. Also seriously wounded, he lived but four hours. Gabriel stood trail for the killing but was exonerated on the grounds of self-defense.


Thomas Gannon -Gannon was elected sheriff of Ellis County, Kansas on December 5, 1867 and quickly made a reputation for himself as a serious lawman, aggressively pursuing outlaws, often with the help of the local soldiers. However, his reign as a lawman would be a short one as early in April, 1868, he disappeared. Though what happened to him remains unknown, many of the time believed he had been murdered to prevent his testimony against an outlaw in an upcoming trial.


Raymond Hatfield Gardner, aka: Arizona Bill (1845-1940) -  Scout, lawman, Pony Express rider and entertainer, Gardner was born at Loganport, Louisiana on July 5, 1845. Evidently his family moved to Texas when he was just a baby, as he was kidnapped by raiding Commanche Indians at the age of two. Later, the Commanches traded the young boy to the Sioux  Indians, who raised him. When Gardner was 15 he ran away from the Indians and soon became a U.S. Army courier and for a brief period, rode for the pony Express. When the Civil War broke out, he joined the army and served four terms, and continued as an Indian Scout. While fighting the Apache Indians in Arizona, he was given the nickname of "Arizona Bill.”  In 1892, he was an entertainer in Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show and would later, serve as a U.S. Deputy Marshal and an Arizona Ranger. With a full life behind him, Gardner became a storyteller, authored a book, and had his own radio show in the 1930’s.  After a long illness at the Fort Sam Houston Station Hospital in Texas he died on January 29, 1940. At the time of his death, no records of his military service could be found so he was buried on a pauper’s grave in the city cemetery. However, in 1976, retired Master Sergeant George Miller documented Gardner’s  military service and his remains were re-interred at the Fort Sam Houston National Military Cemetery where he rests today.


Buck Garrett (1871-1929) - The nephew of Pat Garrett, Buck was born in Tennessee on May 24, 1871 and moved with his family to Paris, Texas when he was just a child. When he was just 18, he served as a posseman for the U.S. Deputy Mashals, which led to a life as a career lawman. When the Johnson County War broke out in 1892, he was recruited as a "hired gun" as one of Frank Wolcott's "Regulators" and was present during the attack on the KC Ranch house were Nick Ray and Nate Champion were killed. Garrett along with other gunfighters, such as Frank Canton, were arrested but soon released and returned to Texas.


Buck GarrettGarrett resumed his duties as a U.S. Deputy Marshal and somewhere along the line married a woman named Ida Mae and the two lived in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Here, he became involved in the pursuit of Bill Dalton in 1894, and by some accounts was the man who killed the fugitive. The next year, three new court districts were established in Oklahoma, and Garrett became one of the many U.S. Deputy Marshals who worked for them.


In 1905 he was made the Chief of Police in Ardmore, a position he held until 1910, when he was elected as the Carter County Sheriff. During his years as Chief and five terms as sheriff, he rarely wore a gun, but never hesitated to with the many thugs he arrested. He also diversified into oil and other businesses, becoming a healthy man, who was sometimes known to hire attorneys to defend the very people he had arrested. Though he was an influential man, he also found controversy with the Ku Klux Klan, which he considered dangerous, which led to his defeat as sheriff in 1922. Afterwards he suffered from a stroke and died when he was 58 years old and was buried in Ardmore, Oklahoma.


Augustus M. "Gus” Gildea (1854-1935) - A lawman, cowboy, and later an outlaw, Gildea was born in Dewitt County, Texas on April 23, 1854. He was working as a cowboy by 1866 and served as a part-time Texas Ranger in Company D and F, often fighting Indians. Somewhere along the line he served as a deputy sheriff at Del Rio, Texas, before making his way to New Mexico where he worked as a cowboy and range guard for John Chisum and joined up with Selman's Scouts following the turmoil of the Lincoln County War. He was listed by Governor Lew Wallace as wanted for investigation of at least four murders. Later, he made his way to Arizona where he again worked as a cowboy in the San Simon area. He died of natural causes at Douglas, Arizona on August 10, 1935.




James Buchannan Gillett (1856-1937) - Born in Austin, Texas on November 4, 1856, he moved with his family to Lampasas around 1872. He worked as a cowhand at several local ranches before he joined the Texas Rangers in 1875. Gillett served in several Texas counties fighting Indians as well as dealing with outlaws. After six years of service as a Texas Ranger, he resigned in the Fall of 1881. He returned to law when he was appointed as the  Assistant City Marshal in El Paso and in June, 1882 became the Marshal of the city. In April, 1885, he resigned his position and began ranching. In 1921, he wrote a book called Six years with the Texas Rangers, which would later be utilized as a school textbook. In 1923, he turned his ranch over to his son, moved to Marfa, and retired. However, he remained active and helped to organize the West Texas Historical Association. He died of heart failure on June 11, 1937 and was buried in the Marfa, Texas cemetery.


Ahijah W. (A.W.) Grimes (1850-1878) - Ahijah W. Grimes was born in Bastrop, Texas on July 5, 1850 to one of the first pioneer families of the area. He began his lawman career as the Bastrop City Marshal in 1874  and joined the Texas Rangers in 1877. In 1878 he moved the family to Round Rock, Texas, where he worked in a bank until he was appointed as a Deputy Sheriff of  Williamson County. Unfortunately for Grimes, when the three members of the Bass Gang, including Sam Bass and Seaborne Barnes, rode into round Rock on July 19, 1878, Grimes spotted them carrying hand guns which was illegal within the Round Rock city limits. When he challenged them, they replied by opening fire on him. He is buried in the Old Cemetery in Round Rock, Texas.


Dayton Graham -A peace officer in Bisbee, Arizona, Graham was selected by Burt Mossman for the newly created Arizona Rangers in 1901. Graham accepted the position and was made a sergeant, earning $75.00 per month. Just a few months after his appointment, Graham and Douglas, Arizona peace officer, Tom Vaughn, went after an outlaw named Bill Smith. They found Smith at the general store in Douglas, but when they tried to arrest the outlaw, Smith began to fire his six-shooter. Vaughn was hit in the neck and Graham took shots in the chest and the arm as Smith made his escape. Graham was so badly injured that Captain of the Arizona Rangers, Burt Mossman, was notified that the sergeant was dying. Mossman immediately gathered Graham’s family and they traveled to Douglas to be with the dying lawman. However, Graham miraculously recovered. After having been bed-ridden for two months, Graham determined to go after his assailant and spent the next several months tracking the outlaw. He caught up with Smith in a saloon in southern Arizona. Spying Smith gambling at a monte table, Smith went for his gun, but this time, Graham was faster and left Smith dead on the floor with two bullets in his stomach and one in his head.


Lewis Jack Gylam (18??-1873) - Originally from Texas, Gylam later made his way to Lincoln County, New Mexico where, in 1872-73, he was the second sheriff of the county, succeeding William Brady. Though influential businessman, Lawrence G,. Murphy, had originally backed Gylam for sheriff, after the lawman lost the next election the two became at odds and Gylam threanted to kill both Lawrence Murphy and his partner, James J. Dolan. When the rowdy Horrell brothers arrived in Lincoln from Texas in 1873, Gylam soon hooked up with lawless characters. On December 1, 1873, Gylam, along with Ben Horrell, rode into Lincoln and began to carouse a number of saloons and brothels. When the drunken men began to shoot off their guns, Constable Juan Martinez soon arrived and demanded that they surrender their weapons, which they did. However, they soon procured more weapons and were shooting up a brothel. When confronted again by Constable Martinez and four other officers, one of Horrell’s friends named Dave Warner, shot and killed Constable Martinez. Ben Horrell and Jack Gylam then fled, aggressively pursued by the police officers. When the officers  caught up with the pair, they pumped their bullets into the two hell-raisers, shooting Horrell nine times and Gylam 13 times. After his death, Lawrence Murphy accused him of malfeasance in office during the time he had served as sheriff.



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