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Old West Lawmen - R

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Isaac "Ike" Rogers (18??-1897) - A black Cherokee, Ike was related to Clement Vann Rogers, the father of Will Rogers. Rogers became a U.S. Deputy Marshal, often working in the company of Bass Reeves, but more often worked under the direction of U.S. Deputy Marshal George Crump. His most famous effort as a U.S. Deputy Marshal, was the capture of African Cherokee outlaw Crawford Goldsby, aka: Cherokee Bill on January 29, 1895. He was also involved in a gunfight with the Cherokee outlaw Henry Starr and his gang near Bartlesville, Oklahoma on January 21, 1893. In the end, Ike was killed by Clarence Goldsby, Cherokee Bill's brother, in Fort Gibson in 1897.


Ben Robertson, aka: Ben Wheeler, Ben Burton (18??-1884) - The son of a respected Texas family, Wheeler was born Ben F. Robertson around 1854. He lived an honest life, marrying and having four children by the time he severely wounded an opponent in a dispute in 1878. Abandoning his wife and children, he fled the state, traveling to Cheyenne, Wyoming where he worked as a cowboy. Later, he wound up in Indianola, Nebraska, using the name of Ben F. Burton. There, he married a woman named Alice Wheeler in November, 1881, but after living with her at her parent’s home for a year, he abandoned her as well. From there, he went to Caldwell, Kansas, where he met up with an old friend named Henry Brown, who was serving as Caldwell's City Marshal. Now going by the name of Ben Wheeler, Brown appointed Wheeler as Assistant Marshal in December,  1882.


The two men "cleaned up” the tough town of Caldwell quickly, but Brown was having financial troubles and soon devised a plant to take care of his problem. On Apr. 30, 1884, Henry Brown and Robertson traveled to Medicine Lodge, Kansas, allegedly in search of a killer. However, their real intentions were to rob a bank, along with two other outlaw friends by the names of John Wesley and William Smith. However, their robbery attempt failed and the four quickly fled. Almost immediately, they were apprehended by a posse just outside of town. Taken to the Medicine Lodge jail, the outlaws were given a meal, their photo taken, and told to write letters to their families. At about 9:00 p.m.a mob broke into the jail and the prisoners attempted to dash for freedom. Brown fell quickly, his body riddled with bullets. Wheeler was also wounded but was dragged along with Wesley and Smith to a nearby elm tree and hanged.


Thomas H. RynningThomas H. Rynning (1866-19??) - Born in Norway in 1866, Rynning arrived in the United States when he was just two years old. Joining the military, Rynning served under General Philip Sheridan during the campaigns against the Southern Cheyenne and the Chiricahua Apaches in 1885 and 1886. He was present at the capture of Geronimo, and helped in the chase of Sitting Bull and his band as they escaped to British Columbia following the Battle of the Little Bighorn. 1898 found him serving as a second Lieutenant with the Rough Riders and was with Roosevelt during the many military engagements that led up to the surrender of the opposition forces at Santiago, Cuba. He was working for the railroad when he was recruited to the Arizona Rangers and was appointed captain the following year when Burton Mossman resigned in 1902. In 1906 he lead a force of volunteers assisting the Mexican Rurales to put down the rioting and bloodshed that were taking place in the copper mines of Cananea. During his tenure, he expanded the Arizona Rangers and began a thorough training program before he resigned on March 20, 1907.



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