James "Jim" Masterson - (1855-1895) - Jim was born on September 16, 1855 in Quebec and moved with his family to Wichita, Kansas in 1889. 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
Ford County Sheriff, was killed in the line of duty and was replaced by brother Bat. 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 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.
William Bartholomew "Bat" Masterson (1853-1921) - The details of Bat's early life continue to be disputed with some reports having him born on November 26, 1853, while others say 1856. Another discrepancy also is debated as to whether he was born in Quebec, Canada or in Illinois. In any event, 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
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 Life. Masterson died in 1921 of a heart attack.
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
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
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
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
McKidrict was shot and killed by
U.S. Deputy Marshal,
Bass Outlaw on April 5, 1894 in El Paso,
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
striking him in the face and causing deep powder burns.
Selman returned fire,
Outlaw just above the heart. As
back he fired two more shots, hitting Selman above the right knee and in the
staggered into the street where surrendered to
Frank McMahon. He died four hours later. McKidrict was buried in
the Oakwood Cemetery in Austin,
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.
(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
Both he and his brother, John, served in the
before making their way to
Meagher worked first as a stage driver before being appointed marshal of
in 1871. Mike made his brother a assistant marshal and also working for him were Billy Smith, Charles Bratton, and
After three years, Meagher left Wichita and headed to
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,
where he opened a saloon. In April, 1880 he was made Mayor of
quickly replaced the existing police force. The ousted marshal,
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
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
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
J. C. Brown.
Harry N. Morse (1835–1912)
- From New York, Morse made his way to
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. 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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