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Old West Lawmen - O-Q

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Bass (Baz) L. OutlawBass (Baz) L. Outlaw (1854-1894) - Born in 1854, exact date unknown, and coming from a good family in Georgia, Bass grew up to be a refined gentleman, but he had a serious drinking problem that continually got him into trouble. After he allegedly killed a man in Georgia around 1884, Bass, also known as Baz, fled to Texas where he became a Texas Ranger. He was soon promoted to a sergeant but, when discovered drunk on duty in Alpine, Texas, he was dismissed.

 

Later, he obtained an appointment as a U.S. Deputy Marshal but was continually reprimanded for drinking. In 1889, while Baz, along with U.S. Deputy Marshals John Hughes and Walter Durbin, were guarding bullion shipments from a silver mine in Mexico, a drunken Baz fought with a Mexican worker and shot him. That same year, Baz, along with fellow U.S. Deputy Marshals, John Hughes and Ira Aten, and Deputy Sheriff Will Terry, planned an ambush near Vance, Texas on the fugitive Odle brothers. Before the night was over, Outlaw shot down both Will and Alvin Odle.

 

On April 5, 1894, when Baz was in El Paso, Texas, he got drunk and fired a shot into Tillie Howard's brothel. When challenged by Constable John Selman and Texas Ranger Joe McKidrict, Baz pointed his gun at the two men, shooting McKidrict's in the head. He then shot at Selman, missing but almost blinding the constable with the gun powder blast. Selman quickly returned fire and shot Outlaw in the chest. Staggering back, Baz fired twice more, wounding Selman, before he stumbled to the ground. Surrendering, Outlaw was led to a nearby saloon where he collapsed and died four hours later. (Also See an excerpt of the book "Whiskey River Ranger: The Old West Life of Baz Outlaw" HERE

 

Sheriff Commodore Perry OwensCommodore Perry Owens (1852-1919) - Born in Tennessee on the anniversary of the great naval commander, Commodore Perry's victory over British naval forces in 1813, he was named for the naval officer, whom his mother admired. Later his family moved to Indiana, but he ran away from home when he was just 13 years old and was soon working as a cowboy in Oklahoma and New Mexico. By 1881, Owens had moved on to Arizona where he homesteaded near Navajo Springs. In 1886, he was elected sheriff of Apache County and is credited with taming the lawless town of Holbrook. In September, 1887, while trying to subdue a one of the factions involved in the Pleasant Valley War, a gunfight ensued. Referred to as the Owens-Blevins Shootout took on several men and came out unscraped. However, rather than seeing Owens as a hero he was relieved of his commission. He moved on and was later in Seligman. Arizona where he ran a saloon. In 1902 he married and in 1919 he died at the age of 66. He is buried in Flagstaff Arizona.  

 

Robert "Bob" Havlin Paul (1830-1901) - Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, Paul became a cabin boy on the whaling ship, Catherine, when he was just 12 years old. Three years later, when the ship docked in San Francisco, California in 1849, Paul remained in the city and would make California home for the next three decades. The strapping six foot, six inch "boy" would soon choose a life of law enforcement, serving as a constable, deputy sheriff, sheriff and Wells Fargo agent over the years. In 1878, Wells Fargo sent him to Tombstone, Arizona, where he often rode shotgun on the stage coaches running through the area. In March, 1881, a stage was held up near Drew's Station and the driver, Bud Philpot was killed. When the bandits tried to run off the horses, Paul brought them under control and brought the stage and its passengers safely into Benson, Arizona. That same year he was elected sheriff of Pima County, Arizona and in 1883 was sent to Colorado with the warrants to bring back the Earps to answer to charges of murder, but was unsuccessful. Six years later, Paul became a special officer for the Southern Pacific Railroad and in 1891, a U.S. Deputy Marshal for Arizona in 1891, a position he held for four years. The fearless and persistent career lawman died on March 26, 1901 of cancer in Tucson, Arizona.

 

Junius "June" Peak (1845-1934) - Confederate veteran, Dallas City Marshal, and Texas Ranger, Peak was born in Warsaw, Kentucky, on April 5, 1845 to Jefferson and Martha Malvina Reasor Peak. When Junius was nine years old, the family moved to Dallas, Texas in 1855. At the age of 16, he left home and and joined First Indian Brigade in 1861 at Fort Arbuckle, Indian Territory. After serving the Confederacy in Oklahoma for about a year, he transferred to General John H. Morgan's Raiders of the Second Kentucky Cavalry Regiment, in which he participated in the Indiana-Ohio raid as an aide and orderly to Major Ellsworth. Later, he was part of Nathan Bedford Forrest's Third Tennessee Cavalry, where he was wounded twice in the Battle of Chickamauga. After recovering from his wounds, he became a scout in the 8th Texas Cavalry, a position he held until the Civil War ended. He then returned to Dallas, where he worked as a deputy sheriff for a time before he was hired by New Mexico ranchers to control the rampant cattle rustling in 1872. In 1874, he had returned to Dallas and was elected City Marshal, a position he held until 1878. At the height of Sam Bass' terrorism of Texas, Peak was commissioned by the governor as second lieutenant in the Frontier Battalion of the Texas Rangers  and tasked with raising a special detachment to track down the notorious outlaw and his gang. By May, 1878, he had been made a captain, and pursued the outlaws relentlessly, ultimately driving them from North Texas towards capture and death at Round Rock, Texas. After Bass was killed, Peak was transferred to San Angelo, where he fought against the Indians and pursued outlaws in West Texas. In April, 1880, Peak resigned from the Texas Rangers and went to work for the Mexican Central Railroad Company, building and equipping supply stations for the construction workers. In 1881, he married Henrietta Boll in Dallas and the pair returned to Mexico. In 1884, Peak returned to Texas, settling on a ranch in Shackelford County. However, in 1899, the couple returned to Dallas so they could provide a better education for their two children and Peak began a new career in real estate. He served as the superintendent of White Rock Lake from 1919 to 1924. He died on April 20, 1934 at his home in Dallas.

 

 

 

George Peppin (1841-1904) - Long before George Peppin got involved in New Mexico's notorious Lincoln County War, he was born in Mountsville, Vermont, October 1841. When he grew up he headed west and in 1861, enlisted in the 5th Infantry California Volunteers. When the Civil War was over, he moved to Lincoln, New Mexico, where he worked as a stone mason. There, he became friends with James Dolan and Lawrence Murphy, who owned the Murphy & Dolan mercantile and banking operation. Dolan and Murphy soon got into a bitter rivalry with Alexander McSween and John Tunstall, when they set up a rival business called H.H. Tunstall & Company. The rivalry escalated into the Lincoln County War, in which, Peppin became a Dolan-Murphy "tool." After Lincoln County Sheriff William Brady was killed by Billy the Kid, Peppin became the new officer. On July 19, 1878, he led the raid on the McSween house in Lincoln, New Mexico, which resulted in the deaths of several men. He was later indicted by a grand jury but all charges were dropped. When the "war" was finally over, Peppin worked as a butcher at Fort Stanton. He died in Lincoln County on  September 14, 1904.

 

Tom Pickett (1858-1934) - Raised in Decatur, Texas , Pickett would grow up to be both a lawman and an outlaw at various times of his life. He began a life a crime when he stole some cattle at the age of 17. Soon captured, his father, a former officer for the Confederacy and a member of the Texas legislature, mortgaged the family home to pay his fine. Pickett later went on to serve as a Texas Ranger for a short time. He then followed a cattle drive to Kansas and became a gambler. There he met "Dirty Dave" Rudabaugh and the pair went to Las Vegas, New Mexico in 1879, where Pickett served as a "peace officer" in the Dodge City Gang. When the city of Las Vegas ran the men out of town, he and Rudabaugh soon joined up with Billy the Kid's Gang and were rusting cattle near Fort Sumner. After Tom O'Folliard was killed by Pat Garrett's posse, Picket and the others fled, hiding out in a stone house in Stinking Springs, New Mexico. Garrett soon tracked them down on December 23, 1880 and in the ultimate shoot-out, Charlie Bowdre was killed, and the rest of the gang captured and taken to Santa Fe, New Mexico . After being released on a $300 bail, Pickett drifted into northern Arizona where he hooked up with the Hash Knife outfit and participated in the Graham-Tewksbury feud. Wounded in the leg during one of the many skirmishes, Pickett returned to working as a cowboy. He married in 1888, but his wife and baby both died in childbirth. He spent the rest of his days gambling, bartending, prospecting for gold and working as a cowboy. However, he did serve a short stint as a U.S. Deputy Marshal. After he was forced to have his leg amputated, Pickett returned to northern Arizona where he died of old age on on May 14, 1934 in Winslow, Arizona at the age of 76.

 

Allan Pinkerton (1819-1884) - Founder of the Pinkerton Detective Agency in 1850, Pinkerton was born at Glasgow, Scotland on August 25, 1819. Pinkerton worked as a barrel maker before immigrating to the United States in 1842. Settling near Chicago, Illinois, he went to work at Lill’s Brewery as a barrel maker but soon determined that working for himself would be more profitable for his family and they moved to a small town called Dundee, some forty miles from Chicago. When he stumbled across a gang of counterfeiters, he was instrumental in their capture, which led to an appointment as the first detective with the Chicago police force. That same year, he, along with Chicago attorney, Edward Rucker, founded, the North-Western Police Agency. When, the business floundered, Allan joined with his brother, Robert who had established himself as a railroad contractor in a business called "Pinkerton & Co." When Allan joined up, the company name was changed to the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, which provided a variety of detective services, from private military contractors to security guards, but specialized in the capture of counterfeiters and train robbers. In 1861, while investigating a railway case, the agency uncovered an assassination plot against Abraham Lincoln, and was instrumental in foiling it. During the Civil War, President Lincoln hired the Pinkerton Detective Agency to organize a "secret service” to obtain military information on the Confederates and sometimes act as Lincoln's bodyguard. Working diligently, Allan Pinkerton traveled under the pseudonym of "Major E.J. Allen." After the Civil War, Allan returned to his duties at the detective agency, which was often hired by the government to perform many of the same duties that are now regularly assigned to the Secret Service, the FBI, and the CIA. The agency also worked for the railroads and overland stage companies, playing an active role in chasing down a number of outlaws including Jesse James, the Reno Brothers, and Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch.

 

When Robert Pinkerton died in 1868, Allan assumed full control of the Pinkerton Detective Agency. However, just a year later, in the autumn of 1869, Allan suffered a paralyzing stroke which nearly killed him. However, Pinkerton recovered and continued to operate the agency until his death. Pinkerton passed away on July 1, 1884, and his agency was taken over by his sons, Robert and William, who continued the agency's movement from detective work to security and protection.

 

Thomas William "Billy" Preece (1856-1928) - Utah lawman, Thomas Preece, was best known for capturing several members of the Wild Bunch. Born at Salt Lake City, Utah on February 11, 1856, he worked on the Uintah Ute Indian Reservation when he was a young man and later, as a freighter between Vernal, Utah and Rock Springs, Wyoming . He was elected sheriff of Uintah County, Utah in 1896 and as such, quickly came into conflict with members of the Wild Bunch, who were terrorizing the state. He was instrumental in capturing outlaws, Harry Tracy, David Lant and Patrick Johnson. In April, 1900 Preece and other lawman caught up with Wild Bunch Flat Nose George Curry and in the ultimate gunfight that ensued, Curry was killed. Preece continued as Uintah County sheriff until 1906. In 1909, he became a U.S. Deputy Marshal at Whiterocks, Utah and later served as city marshal at Vernal. During his lifetime, he married and fathered five children. He died on February 2, 1928 of dropsy, an old term for the swelling of soft tissues due to the accumulation of excess water. He was buried at Rock Point Cemetery near Vernal, Utah.

 

Robert Jack Price (1848- 1930) - Born in Arkansas in 1848, Price's family moved to Texas in the late 1860's, where he married in 1872 and began a family.  In 1891, Priced moved his family to Oklahoma Territory, and became the first constable for County B Township, which is now Potawatomie County.  More familiarly called R.J., he was the first to put a man in the county jail and continued to serve as constable until 1894.  R.J. was also involved in the Anti Horse Thief Association and was a U.S. Deputy Marshal. He died in 1930 in Amber, Oklahoma at the age of 82.

 

 

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