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All photos included here are in the Public Domain in the United States of America unless otherwise noted. Nothing in the way of enhancement has been done to these photographs they are as originally produced.
In this section, the lawmen and outlaws are combined because they were so often interchangeable. Sheriff John Larn was a rustler, Sherrff Henry Plumber a crook, Deputy Sheriff Frank Stillwell, a stage robber and murderer. Frequently these individuals plied both trades at the same time; sometimes they alternated, depending on employment opportunities. Wyatt Earp was a either a pimp or an “enforcer” (debated) in his younger years. However, here as in real life, there are some honorable people among the thieves and killers; It is left to the reader to separate the gold from the dross…
Louis L’Amour said there were three types of lawmen in the Old West:
- the Bat Mastersons, who were concerned with your rights and would give you a chance to surrender
- the Wild Bills, who would “post you” out of town, putting your name on a list on a tree in public warning you to be out of town by sundown, and after that, would shoot on sight.
- the Mysterious Dave type. He simply killed his enemies on sight. No warnings, no postings, no talk, just shooting. While he did not garner the publicity of other famous gunmen/lawmen of the day, he is regarded as one of the most dangerous. In L’Amour’s own words, “Dave Mathers didn’t wait for you. If you came to town talkin’ loud about what you intended to do, Dave would find you and shoot you before you even got started.” (From “The Empty Land”, Bantam Books, 1969)
Johnny Behan Morgan Earp
Virgil Earp Wyatt Earp