Edward “Ed” Masterson – Killed in the Line of Duty


Ed Masterson

Ed Masterson

Edward “Ed” Masterson was born in Henryville, Quebec, Canada on September 22, 1852. He 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 to the floor. He was taken to his room, where he died 30 minutes later. Jack Wagner also died the next day. Ed was buried in the Fort Dodge Military Cemetery.

By Kathy Weiser-Alexander, updated February 2020.

Also See

Bat Masterson – King of the Gun Players

Dodge City – A Wicked Little Town

Lawmen of the Old West

Newspaper accounts of Ed Masterson’s death