Old West Lawmen List – A

William H. Anderson (18??-1878) – A U.S. Deputy Marshal in Dallas after the Civil War, Anderson tracked Bill Collins, a wanted train robber, to Pembina in Dakota Territory (North Dakota) where they shot and killed each other in a gunfight.

Robert Andrew – Serving as a deputy sheriff in Oklahoma, he arrested Ragged Bill and discovered the Doolin Gang Hideout.

Elias Andrews – U.S. Deputy Marshal in the Creek and Cherokee Nations of Indian Territory.

Captain Micah Andrews – Commanded the Texas Rangers in 1837.

William "Red" Angus

William “Red” Angus

William “Red” Angus (1849-1922) – Johnson County, Wyoming Sheriff. Involved in the Johnson County War that arose between the owners of large and small ranches in the area.

Orr William Annis (1859-19??) – U.S. Marshal in Indian Territory and Sheriff of Payne County, Oklahoma from 1897-1901. Of Scottish descent, Annis was born in Knox County, Illinois on June 12, 1859, to Andrew and Leah Brown Annis. Reared on the family farm and educated in public school, Annis headed west in 1878, first to the Black Hills of South Dakota, then to Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming, where he worked as a cowboy on several ranches. After three years, he returned to Illinois where he worked in the meat market business in Lafayette and married Sarah J. Porter. The couple would have six children. In 1884, he moved to Sumner County Kansas, where he farmed and ranched until Oklahoma Territory opened in 1889. At that time, he joined with the many others in the Oklahoma Land Rush and claimed a parcel near Perkins, Oklahoma, where he again made his living as a farmer and rancher. In 1897, he became the sheriff of Payne County, Oklahoma, a position he held until 1901. He later became involved in several businesses, including a bank.

Arizona Rangers (1901-1909) – Organized in 1901 to protect Arizona Territory from outlaws and rustlers. After accomplishing their goals, they were disbanded in 1909.

William Edward Armorer – U.S. Deputy Marshal working out of Fort Smith, Arkansas, assigned to the Indian Territory.

Charles Armstrong – A Texas lawman, Armstrong served as a Texas Ranger and fought Mexicans on the border during WWI.

Henry Clay Armstrong, Jr. – U.S. Deputy Marshal working out of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

John B. Armstrong

John B. Armstrong

John Barclay Armstrong (1850-1913) – Born in McMinnville, Tennessee in January 1850, Armstrong spent some time in Missouri and Arkansas before he headed to Texas in 1871. Settling in Austin, he became a member of the Travis Rifles before joining Captain Leander McNelly’s company of Texas Rangers on May 20, 1875. He soon became McNelly’s second in command and when he was promoted to sergeant, he earned the nickname “McNelly’s Bulldog.” In 1876, Armstrong was promoted to Lieutenant. During his years with the Texas Rangers, he was involved in several notable cases, including the capture of John Wesley Hardin and the pursuit and killing of noted bank robber Sam Bass. In 1881, he resigned his position as a Texas Ranger and soon thereafter was appointed as a U.S. Deputy Marshal. In 1882 he established the 50,000-acre Armstrong Ranch in Willacy County. The old ranger, known in retirement as “Major” Armstrong, died on May 1, 1913.

William “Bill” Arnold (18??-1898) – Deputized as a posseman by U.S. Deputy Marshal Hess Bussey, Bussey and Arnold arrested a man named Bill Johnson, when he and some friends were causing a disturbance in Claremore, Indian Territory on March 17, 1898. The two officers took Johnson to the office of George Walkley’s livery stable and unfortunately, didn’t search him for weapons. While Arnold was attempting to handcuff the prisoner, Johnson drew a pistol and shot Arnold in the face then turned to shoot Bussey. The marshal; however, struggled with Johnson trying to get the gun and pulling his own weapon shot Johnson in the chest. When the prisoner continued to fight, Bussey shot him again in the forehead, killing him instantly. Deputy Arnold’s body was returned to his former home in Columbus, Kansas.

George Washington Arrington, aka: John C. Orrick (1844-1923) – Texas Ranger and Wheeler County, Texas Sheriff.

Guadalupe Ascarate – A sheriff in New Mexico Territory, he was eventually replaced by Pat Garrett.

Albert S. Ashby – U.S. Deputy Marshal in Arizona Territory commissioned on February 23, 1881.

Charles Askins – Charles Askins was an American lawman, U.S. Army officer, and writer known for his skills as a gunman and work in the American Border Patrol. (Read more in this article submitted by Concealment Express)

Edwin Aten – Joined the Texas Rangers after his brother Ira Aten and was assigned to Company D.

Ira Aten (1862–1953) – The son of a Methodist minister, Ira’s family settled on a farm near Round Rock, Texas after the Civil War. When he was just a teenager, his father tended to the mortally wounded Sam Bass in 1878. Aten joined the Texas Rangers in 1883, and became captain of Company D. Known for his shooting skills, Ira was first assigned to border duty and after a gunfight with cattle rustlers, he was promoted to corporal. He was then sent to West Central Texas, where he was instrumental in breaking up and a number of cattle rustling outfits. After arresting Jim Epps and Rube Boyce, he was promoted to the level of sergeant. In 1887, after a long manhunt, he tracked and shot down outlaw Judd Roberts, an associate of Butch Cassidy’s Hole-in-the-Wall gang. In 1889 Aten was appointed sheriff of Fort Bend County, Texas during the violent feud known as the Jaybird-Woodpecker War. In 1893, he was elected sheriff of Castro County, Texas, where he once again cracked down on a number of Panhandle rustlers. After serving as sheriff for two years, he went to work as a superintendent of the six hundred thousand acre XIT ranch, a position he held until 1904. After leaving the XIT Ranch, he took his wife and five children to California, where he lived until his death in 1953 at the age of nearly ninety.

Lee Atkins (18??-1894) –  A newly appointed U.S. Deputy Marshal, Atkins hadn’t even seen service when he was killed. A Creek Indian, Atkins was attending a horse racing event in Checotah, Indian Territory on November 10, 1894. Accompanying him was another U.S. Deputy Marshal, Dick Downing, who was in town to serve an unrelated writ. Earlier in the day, Atkins had been warned that a man named Amos McIntosh, another Creek Indian and former prosecuting attorney in Muskogee, was looking to kill him. After the warning, Downing accompanied Atkins for the rest of the day and when Atkins and McIntosh came face to face, both agreed to give up their weapons to prevent any trouble. However, McIntosh later got his gun back. That evening the two met again at the horse races and began to argue. When Atkins cursed McIntosh, telling the other man that he was unarmed and calling McIntosh a coward, McIntosh pulled his gun and shot Atkins twice, once in the left side and once in the hip. Though reports stated that both men had been drinking, Marshal Downing said Atkins was sober. Why Downing didn’t immediately arrest McIntosh is unknown. The killer fled town on the next train to Eufaula but was trailed and arrested on January 14, 1895, by U.S. Deputy Marshal, Grant Johnson. As to the outcome of his arrest, it is unknown.

Christopher Columbus Ayers – U.S. Deputy Marshal and jailer working out of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Jacob T. Ayers – U.S. Deputy Marshal working out of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Willard R. Ayers

Willard R. Ayers

Willard R. Ayers (18??-1880) – A native of Fort Smith, Arkansas, both Willard and his brother, Christopher Columbus Ayers, grew up to become U.S. Deputy Marshals in the early 1870s before Judge Isaac Parker took office. In 1873, Ayers was wounded by a prisoner when he, along with U.S. Deputy Marshals, Perry DuVal and James Wilkerson, were escorting prisoners to from Indian Territory to Fort Smith, Arkansas. DuVal was killed but Ayers recovered from his wound and returned to work. Several years later, on August 11, 1880, Ayers attempted to arrest Emanuel Patterson, an African American wanted for larceny. When Ayers went to Patterson’s home near Cherokee town in the Chickasaw Nation to arrest the man, Patterson asked if he could get some clothes and Ayers agreed. However, when Patterson returned, he had a gun and shot Ayers in the head. The fugitive then escaped. However, in 1886, Patterson was arrested and taken to Fort Smith on another violation. He would later admit to killing Ayers but claimed he didn’t known he was an officer, but thought he was an enemy trying to kill him. Patterson was convicted of murder in October 1887 and sentenced to be hanged the following April. However, his sentence was later commuted to life in prison, where he died.


By Kathy Weiser-Alexander, June 2019.

Lawman Summaries (name begins with) A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Also See: Lawmen of the Old West (main page)

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