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Old West Lawmen - M-N

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Teddy Roosevelt's Rough RidersChristian "Chris" Madsen (18511944) - Born in Denmark, Madsen claimed to have been a soldier in the Danish Army before immigrating to the United States in 1876. Immediately, he enlisted in the U.S. Cavalry which soon put him in the midst of the various Indian Wars taking place on the plains. At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, he joined Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders. After some 15 years in the military, Madsen left the army and went to works as a U.S. Deputy Marshal in Oklahoma in 1891. Working with Heck Thomas and Bill Tilghman, the three became known as the Three Guardsmen and were largely responsible for wiping out the lawlessness in Indian Territory.


Earning a reputation as a fighter who would never surrender, he was instrumental in hunting down Bill Doolin and the rest of his gang. During the First World War Madsen tried to enlist, once again, in the United States Army but was rejected as being too old. In his sixties he was appointed chief of police at Oklahoma City.


Christian Madsen died peacefully at the age of ninety-three in Guthrie, Oklahoma on January 9, 1944. Chris Madsen is buried in the Frisco Cemetery in Yukon, Oklahoma.


Bryan Marsh (1833-1901) - Born in Alabama in 1833, Marsh later relocated to Texas, settling in near Tyler. During the Civil War, he served with distinction as a caption in the Texas Cavalry. In the battle of New Hope Church, Georgia he was wounded in 1864, resulting in the loss of his right arm. However, that did not stop him from becoming the captain of Company B, Frontier Battalion of the Texas Rangers in 1880. In February, 1881, the company quelled a riot situation in San Angelo. When budget restrictions disbanded his company in 1881, Marsh returned to Smith County where he served as sheriff for many years. He died March 25, 1901 in Tyler. Ranger Jeff Milton described his Captain this way: ". . .he would drink right smart and scrap right smart. He was an old Confederate war colonel with one arm shot off at the shoulder, and the other hand almost gone. But he would fight his shadow; wa'n't afraid of anything."


Ed Masterson, Dodge City, Kansas Lawman

Edward "Ed" Masterson (1852-1878) - Born in Henryville, Quebec, Canada on September 22, 1852, Ed and his family moved to Wichita, Kansas in 1871. Later that year, Ed, along with brothers, Bat and James, became buffalo hunters. In July, 1877, Ed became an assistant marshal in Dodge City. Later that year, he was shot in the chest by Bob Shaw during an altercation at the Lone Star Dance Hall. Though severely wounded, he lived to become Dodge City's marshal. On March 15, 1878, he joined with his brother, Bat, who was by then the Sheriff of Ford County, and Charles Bassett to capture two train robbers.


However, the very next month found Ed shot on April 9th, while trying to disarm a drunken cowboy by the name of Jack Wagner. Masterson was able to shoot back, hitting Wagner in the chest. Ed then walked across the street to George M. Hoover's saloon, where he told the tale, before sinking. He was taken to his room, where he died 30 minutes later. Jack Wagner also died the next day. Ed was buried in the at Fort Dodge Military Cemetery.


Also See:  Newspaper accounts of Ed Masterson's death.




James Masterson, DodgeCity, Kansas LawmanJames "Jim" Masterson - (1855-1895) - Jim was born on September 16, 1855 in Quebec and moved with his family to Wichita, Kansas in 1871. After hunting buffalo with his brothers, he opened a saloon in Dodge City, Kansas. A year later, his brother Ed, who was serving as the Dodge City Marshal, was killed in the line of duty. Jim became the Assistant Marshal in Dodge City, Kansas in June, 1878. Working for Marshal Charlie Bassett, Masterson also worked with Wyatt Earp, who was serving as a Deputy Marshal. In November, 1879, he was promoted to Marshal when Bassett had exceeded the number of terms that he could serve. When a new mayor was elected in Dodge, Jim lost his job. Ten days later, he shot a man named Al Updegraff in a gunfight and was ordered out of Dodge. He then moved to Trinidad, Colorado where he served as a deputy and constable. By 1885, he had moved again, to Raton, New Mexico where was appointed under sheriff of Colfax County. Moving once again, he finally settled in Guthrie, Oklahoma , where he became the Logan County sheriff. In 1893, he became a U.S. Deputy Marshal and was involved in the Ingalls, Oklahoma shootout with the Doolin Gang. Masterson died of consumption on March 31, 1895. 


Bat MastersonWilliam Bartholomew "Bat" Masterson (1853-1921) - Better known as Bat Masterson, William Bartholomew was born on November 26, 1853 in Quebec, Canada. His family eventually moved to Kansas where they farmed in Sedgwick County. He obtained his first job at seventeen grading the railroad bed for the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railroad. Shortly afterward, in 1871, he became a buffalo hunter supplying meat to the railroad crews. Bat took part in the Battle of Adobe Walls, Texas on June 27, 1874. In the attack led by Comanche War Chief Quanah Parker, 19 hunters defended the assault by some 1000 Indians. In 1878, at the age of 22, he ran for Sheriff of Ford County, Kansas and won. It was there that he met Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and other Old West figures. In 1879 he went to Tombstone, Arizona when Wyatt Earp asked him to work in the Oriental Saloon.


Two years later he moved on to Colorado, where he was the sheriff for Creede, before returning to Dodge City where he was a Peace Commissioner in 1883. Later he accepted a post of U.S. Marshal in New York state and by 1891 was working as a sports editor for a New York City newspaper. In 1907 and 1908 he wrote a series of articles for the short-lived Boston magazine, Human LifeMasterson died in 1921 of a heart attack.  More ...


Mike McCluskie, aka: Arthur Delaney, Art Donovan (18??-1871)  - A little known gambler and occasional lawman, McCluskie was an Irishman from Ohio and a rough man by anyone's standards. He made his way to Kansas by way of employment with the Santa Fe Railroad, as a Night Policeman. Earlier in the year of 1871, he had been charged with garroting a man to death in Newton, but the charges were dismissed. While in Newton, McCluskie befriended an 18 year-old man who was dying of tuberculosis. The young man, named James Riley, who was often called "McCluskie's Shadow," would play a major role in the famous Hide Park Gunfight. McCluskie primarily made his living as a gambler, but during the August elections,  he was hired by the Newton authorities as a Special Policeman to help keep order. During the elections, he got into an argument with another Special Policeman by the name of Billy Bailey. The argument led to violence and McCluskie ended up killing Bailey. It was this event that instigated the Hide Park Gunfight, in which McCluskie was shot in the neck and back by Hugh Anderson during the gunfight. He died six hours later on August 19th, 1871.


William Jesse McDonald (1852-1918) - McDonald was born on a plantation in Kemper County, Mississippi, on September 28, 1852. When the Civil War began, his father joined the Confederacy and was killed when William was just ten, leaving the young boy as the oldest male in the family.  In 1866, they moved to east Texas and settled on a farm near Henderson in Rusk County. After graduating from college, he started a small star at Mineola and later became a deputy sheriff.  In 1887, he became a U.S. Deputy Marshal, working to clean up the lawless Indian Territory . In 1891, McDonald was selected to replace S. A. McMurry as Captain of Company B, Frontier Battalion of the Texas Rangers. He served as a Ranger captain until 1907. Captain McDonald and his company took part in a number of celebrated cases including the Fitzsimmons-Maher prize fight, the Wichita Falls bank robbery, the Reese-Townsend feud, and the Brownsville Raid of 1906. His handling of the troops of the 25th U.S. Infantry during this last incident made him known as "a man who would charge hell with a bucket of water."  As his career wound down, he served as a bodyguard for Teddy Roosevelt on a hunting expedition and for Woodrow Wilson. Bill McDonald died of pneumonia on January 15, 1918 at Wichita Falls and was buried at Quanah, Texas . On his tombstone is carved the following motto: "No man in the wrong can stand up against a fellow that's in the right and keeps on a-comin'."


Joseph "Joe" W. McKidrict (1871-1894)  - Twenty-three year-old Texas Ranger, McKidrict was shot and killed by U.S. Deputy Marshal, Bass Outlaw on April 5, 1894 in El Paso, Texas.  When the U.S. Marshal created a disturbance at Tillie Howard's brothel and his gun accidentally went off, Constable John Selman and McKidrict quickly arrived. As the lawmen were trying to calm down the drunken Bass, he pointed his gun at McKidrict and shot him in the head and back, killing him instantly. Outlaw then fired at Selman, nearly striking him in the face and causing deep powder burns. Selman returned fire, hitting Outlaw just above the heart. As Bass staggered back he fired two more shots, hitting Selman above the right knee and in the thigh. Bass then staggered into the street where surrendered to Texas Ranger Frank McMahon. He died four hours later. McKidrict was buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Austin, Texas.


Joseph McKinney (18??-1850) - Having served only five months as Sheriff of Sacramento County, California, McKinney and his deputies were trying to arrest several squatters who had taken over land during the California Gold Rush. At this time, numerous confrontations were taking place between property owners and miners illegally occupying their property. On August 14, 1850, a city assessor was killed by squatters and the following day, Sheriff McKinney, along with 20 deputies rode to Brighton, California,  where several squatters had barricaded themselves in a house. As the officers attempted to enter the house, gunfire erupted and when the smoke cleared, Sheriff McKinney and two squatters were killed. The other squatters were forced to surrender.


John McPherson (18??-1879) - McPherson served as the Police Chief in Las Vegas, New Mexico until the Dodge City Gang showed up and wanted to take control of the town. The leader of the gang, a man who went by the name of Hoodoo Brown, soon got himself installed as the mayor and Justice of the Peace and had McPherson sacked. But that wasn't enought for Brown, who sent a man named Charles "Slick" Karl to engage McPherson in a gunfight in order to get rid of the man permanently. On August 6, 1879, the gunfight occurred and McPherson was killed and Kyle wounded.


Mike Meagher (1843-1881) - Born in Ireland, he and his family immigrated to the United States, first settling in Illinois. Both he and his brother, John, served in the Civil War before making their way to Kansas. Meagher worked first as a stage driver before being appointed marshal of Wichita, Kansas in 1871. Mike made his brother a assistant marshal and also working for him were Billy Smith, Charles Bratton, and Wyatt Earp. After three years, Meagher left Wichita and headed to Indian Territory where as a freight wagon driver before becoming a U.S. Deputy Marshal in 1874. A year later; however, he returned to Wichita, where he again served as marshal. Meagher rarely drew his gun to settle a dispute and killed only one man while Wichita Marshal. That man, Sylvester Powell, angry at Meagher for arresting him earlier, took potshots at an outhouse behind Hope's Saloon on January 1, 1877, with Meagher inside. Meagher was slightly wounded and later shot Powell to death.  Before long, Meagher moved on again, landing in Caldwell, Kansas where he opened a saloon. In April, 1880 he was made Mayor of Caldwell and quickly replaced the existing police force. The ousted marshal, George Flatt, obviously took offense and soon began to badmouth the city administration. In June, Flatt was found shot to death. Meagher and the entire police force was arrested for the murder, but no one was convicted of the crime. On December 17, 1881, in a shootout with Jim Talbot and three other men, Meagher was killed. The gunfight lasted long enough for a hardware store to pass guns and ammunition out to townspeople. Only one of Talbot's men was ever convicted for the murder. Talbot was acquitted but was later killed, probably by Mike's brother, John, who was seen following Talbot from the courthouse after his release.


Joseph Lafayette Meek (1810-1875) - Born in Washington County, Virginia on February 7, 1810, Meek was propelled westward at an early age by a disagreeable stepmother. He first went to Lexington, Missouri where he joined two of his brothers. By 1829 he had signed on with William Sublette as a Rocky Mountain trapper, and for the next eleven years he lived the strenuous life of a mountain man.  By 1840, the trapping industry was waning and Meek, along with his third Indian wife, traveled to the Willamette Valley in Oregon. He worked first for various farmers before becoming the sheriff. By 1845 he was a prosperous farmer himself, and won a seat in the Legislature. Following the Whitman Massacre in November of 1847, Meek led a delegation across to Washington, D. C., asking for protection and to urge territorial status for Oregon. The following year, Congress approved his requests and Meek was appointed the territory's federal marshal, a post he held for the next five years. In 1855, he played a leading part in the Yakima War, organizing the Oregon Volunteers and winning the rank of major for his service. In June of 1875, Joe died at his home.


Jeff Davis Milton (1861-1947) - Born in Sylvania, Florida on November 7, 1861, Jeff was the son of the Confederate governor of the state, General John Milton. After the end of the Civil War, he grew up on the remnants of the once-proud family estate. However, at the age of 15, he moved to Texas where he worked as a cowboy before lying about his age and joining the Texas Rangers in 1878. After spending four years as a ranger, he moved through west Texas, working as a sheriff's deputy in various places before landing in southern New Mexico in 1884, where he soon became a U.S. Deputy Marshal. For the rest of his life he would hold a variety of law enforcement positions in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona before retiring in Tombstone  Arizona in 1932. Milton captured a number of outlaws during his career, including William E. Walters, aka: Bronco Bill. He also killed John "Three-Fingered Jack" Patterson. A fearless officer and a master at firearms, Milton's lawman career spanned more than a half a century. He died on May 7, 1947.


John "Happy Jack" Morco - A semiliterate and a drunken brawler in California, Morco fled the state after killing four unarmed men. He next turned up in Ellsworth, Kansas. Exagerrating that he had killed 12 men in gunfights, he soon was appointed to the police force to help control the rowdy cowtown. There, he got into a quarrel with gunman Ben Thompson which led to the death of Sheriff C. B. Whitney. Afterwards, Morco was fired. Morco was later killed in a gunfight with Ellsworth Policeman J. C. Brown.


Harry N. Morse (18351912) - From New York, Morse made his way to California with the rest of the miners during the California Gold Rush. When he didn't find his fortune, he turned to other jobs. In 1863 he was elected Sheriff of Alameda County, where he quickly earned a reputation as a determined man hunter.  Among the many outlaws he captured, was the the notorious Tiburcio Vasquez in 1871. In 1878, he retired as sheriff and soon founded a detective agency in San Francisco. In 1883, his agency was responsible for the arrest of the elusive stage robber Black Bart. Diverting his business interests in real estate, publishing, and mining, he was very successful. He died peacefully in Oakland, California at the age of seventy-six.


Burton C. MossmanBurton C. Mossman (1867- 1956) - Born in 1867 in Illinois, Mossman became a farmer, rancher, cattleman and Rough Rider. In 1898, he was hired by the Aztec Company to manage it's Hashknife Outfit and try to stop the rampant cattle rustling that was taking place on their huge ranch in Arizona. When the Arizona Rangers were formed in 1901, Mossman became their first captain on August 30th. Speaking fluent Spanish, he was also known as a great story teller. A friend of  Arizona Territorial Governor Murphy, Mossman had agreed to hold the post for only one year.  He selected his headquarters in Bisbee, Arizona and began the task of establishing a group of tough lawmen. Burt's last capture was that of Augustine Chacon, a vicious killer who claimed to have killed some 52 people. Enlisting the help of outlaws, Burt Alvord and Billy Stiles, Mossman was able to trap the killer who was eventually hanged in Solomonville, Arizona.


After serving for just one year, his term was completed and rumors circulated it was primarily because he did not want to work under a new governor. Afterwards, Mossman returned to the cattle business and owned the large Diamond A ranch near Roswell, New Mexico. Known to be wild, restless and quick tempered, he was; however, respected by all who worked with him. Though he died in Roswell on September 5, 1956, he is buried in the Mount Washington Cemetery in Independence, Missouri.



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