Week 28: July

Week 28: July 9th thru 15th

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7/9 of… 1857

Celerity Coach (mud wagon) - Week 28: July 9th thru 15thThe granddaddy of ’em all — first run of “The Jackass Mail“, the San Antonio-San Diego Mail Line, via horseback, to meet a U.S. Government Mail contract date. Thereafter, semi-monthly service was established — with a coach leaving each terminal city on the 9th and 24th of the month. They met at Maricopa Wells, AZ, exchanging mail and passengers, then returning to the home station. Supported by 87 stations, 400 head of stock (mules), and 65 employees operating celerity wagons. (Similar to military ambulances and much lighter weight than a Concord Coach). The 1,500 mile service, averaging 30+ days in a four-horse coach, ran until 1858 when it lost the El Paso to Fort Yuma portion of the route to the Butterfield Overland Mail*, which soon increased that service to weekly. Through various configurations and routes the service lasted until 1861 when Apaches and the Civil War finally ended it. Photo: U.S.P.D. David R., Seeley Stable Museum, Abbott & Downing Celerity (mud) wagon.  {001}
*Wk. 37, 09/16/1857 – Butterfield Overland Mail
Photo Gallery Index – Transportation Photos“Moses” Ambulance
The Originals Index – Resources & Hazards – Animals Index Page
Mammals Mule


Ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment guaranteeing citizenship to African Americans and due process to all citizens.  {001}


Big Nose Kate sobers up, recants her “confession”. Sheriff Behan‘s case evaporates and Doc Holliday walks when Judge Wells Spicer throws out the charges. Tombstone, AZ Territory.  {001}
Wk. 27, 07/05/1881 – Sheriff Johnny Behan arrests Holliday


Cochise Train Robbery: Four masked men awaited the westbound SPRR Express Train when it stopped at Cochise station (AZ). The train crew soon found themselves standing with their hands in the air. They were immediately joined by Express Messenger Charles Adair, who had been invited, at gunpoint, to step down from the express car and add himself to the lineup the station platform. Adair had been through this before. The previous year he had killed an incautious  bandit on this same route. These fellows were much different.
They uncoupled the express car from the rest of the train and took only the engineer to operate the locomotive. There was no need for express messenger Adair; messengers did not have the combination to the safe they guarded and the robbers knew it. The  short train was move a few miles further west and stopped, the safe was dynamited and the take collected. Retrieving their mounts, they vanished  into the Chiricahua Mountains with maybe $10,000 (?) in their saddlebags. A hastily formed posse, led by Cochise County Sheriff Scott White and U.S. Deputy Marshal George Scarborough...  had no joy.
Later arrests and confessions implicated, Billy Stiles and Mat Burts, But the deathbed confessions of Three Finger Jack (after the Fairbanks robbery) identified Sheriff Burt Alvord as the Mastermind and rancher William Downing as the supplier of the dynamite (stolen, of course!). {001}.
see also:
The Originals Index – Outlaw GangsAlvord-Stiles Gang


An old and successful miner/con man, “Death Valley ScottyScotty as Sphinx - Week 28: July 9th thru 15th (Walter Edward Scott) paid $5,500 to the Santa Fe RR to take him from Los Angeles to Chicago in forty-six hours to promote a “mine” he was hawking. The Coyote Special covered the 2,265 miles with an hour and six minutes to spare! The record was finally surpassed in 1936 by trains in regular service. One of the nineteen locomotives employed on the run, number 1010 (2-6-2), is on display at the California Railroad Museum in Sacramento, CA.  {001}
see also:
The Originals – Lost Treasures of the Old West – HoaxesDeath Valley Scotty

7/10 of… 1824

Richard King born in New York City, NY: sailor, steamboat captain, entrepreneur and rancher.  {001}


Millard Fillmore inaugurated as the 13th President of the United States.  {001}


Reno Gang members, minus the brothers themselves, rob a train at the Seymour, ID, depot. Some gang members are wounded and Val Elliot captured. He then names Charlie Roseberry and Theodore Clifton, who are soon arrested.  {001} (Date Conflict: Jul 20)
The Originals Index – Outlaw Gangs Index – Reno Gang


Capt. Nicolas M. Nolan leads his Buffalo Soldiers (63 10th Cavalry troopers), out of Fort Concho, TX, onto the Llano Estacado, (the Staked Plains) to scout for raiding Apache and Comanche Indians. It will be a long, dry ride — the beginning of the “Staked Plains Horror“.  {001}


Bill Curren killed by Robert Ford and Dick Liddil at the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, NM.  {001}


The Denver and Rio Grande Railway reaches Silverton, CO, with a viable source of transportation. Production in the mines will increase.


The last Archer Brothers Gang member, Sam Archer (the youngest brother) hanged, after trial, for robbery and murder in Marion, Martin  and Orange Counties, ID. The other three Archer’s, Dad and brothers, Thomas, John and Mort and  had been lynched by vigilantes at Shoals, IN, earlier in the year (March).  {001}


In a fit of drunken, jealous rage, Buckskin Frank Leslie kills his mistress, “Blond Mollie” and seriously wounds ranch hand Jim Neal in Horseshoe Valley, AZ. Confronted with Neal’s testimony, Leslie pleads guilty and is given a life sentence in the Arizona Territorial Prison at Yuma.  {001}


Wyoming admitted as the 44th state. “The Equality State”.  {001}

7/11 of…1598

The Spanish conquistador and explorer, Don Juan de Oñate y Salazar led 500 Spanish settlers and soldiers, with a livestock of 7,000 animals, North from Mexico. They founded San Juan de los Caballeros, the first Spanish settlement in what was called the Kingdom of New Mexico (after the Valley of Mexico).  {001}


 Native Sons of the Golden West logo - Week 28: July 9th thru 15thThe Native Sons of the Golden West, a fraternal service organization limited to native born Californians, is established. It is dedicated to historic preservation, documentation of historic structures and places in the state, the placement of historic plaques, and other charitable functions within California. The discovery of gold in 1890 is commemorated by placing the first historical marker in the state. The institution gave rise to California’s nickname “Golden State” and to the term, “Golden West.” Brother organization to Native Daughters of the Golden West. Logo U.S.  © Native Sons, Fair Use.  {001}


U.S. Army lieutenants John A. Rucker and Austin Henely were returning to Camp Supply, AZ, with their Indian scout John Rope and two civilian contractors when a violent rainstorm caused a flash flood in White River Canyon. Rope and the local civilians were more experienced and crossed the torrent, swimming their horses with no problem. However, the two young officers made the fatal error of swimming their horses’ side-by-side. The strong current crashed one horse into the other and both men fell off, were swept away, and drowned. It was said that Rucker attempted to save his friend… John Rope and his packers recovered the bodies the next day. The following year the camp was renamed Camp Rucker. {001}
The Originals Index – Western Forts and Trading PostsCamp Rucker


Riverton, IA. The Davis and Sexton Bank is robbed by Jesse James, Charles Knox, Polk Wells and one other unidentified outlaw. They net $4,000.  {001}


Striking miners dynamite the Frisco Mill at Coeur d’Alene, ID. Unrest among western miners will continue to occur throughout the 1890’s.  {001}


The Black Jack Ketchum Gang (Sam without Jack!) robs a train at Twin Mountains, near Folsom, NM. They escape to Turkey Creek Canyon nearly 35 miles away, but it’s not far enough…  {001}


Born in Iowa, American Western Artist, George Phippen  {001}

7/12 of… 1838

Chief Going Snake - Week 28: July 9th thru 15thCherokee Chief and orator, I-na-du-na-i, (Going Snake) served at age 81 for the last time as speaker of the general convention between the eastern and western Cherokee at Tahlequah, Indian Territory (OK). He stepped down from office and a new speaker was elected. Going Snake died a natural death at his cabin on Ward Branch Creek soon after. Photo: U.S. PD pre-1838 unknown. TYH! {001}


Born in Fremont, OH, Joseph Lesher: soldier, real estate investor, creator of The Referendum souvenir medal (Referendum Dollar).  {001 & 030}
Wk. 46, 11/13/1900 – The Referendum souvenir medal

Gambler Charley Harrison shoots a dapper but abusive “Professor” Charles Stark, “the Mexican Negro” at the Criterion Saloon and Restaurant in downtown Denver. Stark brought a knife to a gunfight.  {001}


“The McCanles Massacre”. Wild Bill Hickok, J.W. “Doc” Brink, and Horace kill David C. McCanles and perhaps others at Rock Creek Station, Nebraska Territory.  {001}


A fire takes Etta Clark‘s parlor house in the night, but everyone escaped unharmed. It seems that Fat Alice Abbot hired some drunks to burn down her enemy/competitor’s house. However, complete proof was lacking, and Alice and and her inebriated miscreants were acquitted of the crime. Now homeless, Madame Etta Clark finds herself but a streetwalker.  {001}


Edward O’Kelley, “The man who killed the man who killed Jesse James” (Robert Ford*), is sentenced to life in the Colorado State Penitentiary at Cañon City, CO. Connections in Missouri have him pardoned in October of 1902.  {001}
*Wk. 23, 06/08/1892 – RobertBobFord
Wk.14, 04/03/1882 – death of Jesse James


Chicago World’s Fair – Chicago, IL. Fredrick Jackson Turner read his paper Frontier Thesis before the American Historical Association — perhaps the beginning of his long tenure as a definer of the Western phenomena in America.  {001}


A posse led by then sheriff of Doña Ana County Pat Garrett caught up with Deputy Sheriffs James Gililland and Oliver Lee, suspected in the disappearance of  Col. Albert J. Fountain and his son Henry. Fountain had just completed serving as special prosecutor against cattle rustlers in highly politicized Lincoln County, NM. Garrett’s Deputy Kurt Kearney was killed and the suspects escaped. The Fountain’s bodies were never found and the suspects were later acquitted. Typical of the situation at this time in the territory.  {001}


Phelps Dodge Corporation once again attacks the striking Industrial Workers of the World. The Bisbee Deportation posse (vigilantes) of some 2,200 imported deputies (certainly one of the largest ever assembled in the Old West), “arrests” some 2,000 striking miners, townsfolk, by-standers, etc.  Later in the day the detainees are covered with machine guns as 1,286 of them are forced into twenty-seven uncleaned cattle cars provided by the El Paso & Southern RR. A 205-mile haul to Hermanas, NM, ensues — across the daytime desert in 90+ temperatures with no water or food. They are warned never to return to Bisbee.  {001}
Photo Gallery Index – Mining PhotosThe Bisbee Deportation
Wk. 27, 07/05/1917 – The Jerome Deportation


Alice Van-Springsteen, (Alice Grace van der Veen) born in California. Rodeo cowgirl, stunt woman.  {001} W


Maria Darlene Pearson, Hai-Mecha-Eunka (Running Moccasins) born Darlene Elvira Drappeaux in Springfield, SD. Indian activist.  {001}


First release of Silverado (1985). John Cleese, Kevin Costner, Scott Glenn, Danny Glover, Kevin Kline, etc. Typical Western themes, but well played and a good tale.  {001}


Jimmy Driftwood - Week 28: July 9th thru 15thFayetteville, AK, sees the passing of Jimmy Driftwood (James Corbitt Morris) — perhaps best known as a country songwriter/singer, but his day job was teaching. He used to make up songs to help his Arkansas high school history students get interested in and remember important events. His first recorded version contained the words “hell” and “damn”, which radio stations refused to play. Driftwood observed that at the time those words could be preached, but not sung in secular context for broadcast. A musicologist for the National Geographic Society and active in the preservation of the music and heritage of the Ozark Mountains, he was said to have written some 6,000 songs himself. A regular performer on The Grand Ole Opry, Driftwood won Grammy Awards for Battle of New Orleans, Wilderness Road, Songs of Billy Yank, Johnny Reb and Tennessee Stud.  A noted environmentalist and director of the Arkansas Parks & Tourism Commission. Photo: U.S. PD unknown.  {003 & 001}
Quotes Index – Commentators Quotes – entry re: James Corbitt Morris

7/13 of… 1882

“The tanks” near Morse Canyon, AZ. Based on information from Behan Deputy Billy Breakenridge and Buckskin Frank Leslie, the last leader of “the Cowboys”, Johnny Ringo+2, is hunted down by a posse led by Wyatt Earp+2 and shot dead by Wyatt (rifle). Fred Dodge+2, Harry Goober, Johnny Green, Doc Holliday+2, John Meagher and Harelip Charlie Smith probably filled out the group.    {001}
07/14 – below


Stage guard George Hackett causes Black Bart to lose his derby hat as he flees the robbery scene of the gold-laden coach between LaPorte and Oroville in Plumas County, CA.  {001}


John C. Fremont (John C. Fremon) “The Pathfinder“, age 77, died in New York City, NY. Soldier, explorer, governor, presidential candidate (1864). He led four major exploratory expeditions into the unsettled American West (the Oregon Trail). His controversial actions helped wrest California from the Mexicans. He served in the Civil War but bickered with Lincoln and was bypassed for command. Fremont was very influential in Western affairs but had a way of running afoul of authority, and died disregarded by his times.  {001}


Los Angeles, CA — Nicholas C. Creede (age 54), discoverer of the Holy Moses, and the famous Amethyst vein, millionaire mine owner, namesake of the town of Creede, CO, committed suicide with an overdose of morphine. Allegedly because his wife, from whom he had separated, insisted upon renewing their marriage relations. Previous agreements not withstanding, she apparently she had a change of heart. He was not pleased, but why would a man who had done all that Creede had done, take his own life? These and other questions, were never answered… Photo: U.S. PD, Nickolas C. Creede {001}
see also:
Wk 23, 06/05/1892 – Creede Fire
Wk 23, 06/08/1892 – Robert Ford


Windy Well, some thirty miles south of Alamogordo, NM. Oliver Milton Lee and James Gilliland, accused of murder, are hiding out on Lee’s property when they are found by a posse consisting of Sheriff Pat Garrett, Jose Espalin, Kent Kearney, Clint Llewellyn and Ben Williams. The posse captures a guard, but the fugitives are warned. In the ensuing gunfight, Kearney is killed, Garrett is lightly wounded and routed, Williams and Llewellyn are drenched beneath a bullet-punctured water tank, and Espalin winds up dancing bootless in sand burrs. The humiliated posse withdraws and the fugitives escape unharmed.  {001}


J.A. “Dick” Liddil dead at 49 of heart problems, Cincinnati, OH. James Gang +2 member.  {001}

7/14 of…1860

Owen Wister born in Philadelphia, PA. The granddaddy of Western novelists.  {001}


The Great Railroad Strike, aka: the Great Upheaval, began in Martinsburg, West Virginia. The Baltimore & Ohio RR (B&O) cut wages for the third time in a year and the workers went on strike. It ended, some 45 days later, after it was put down by local and state militias, and federal troops. Other railroads tried the same tactics and the same economic conditions around the country generated much the same results in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Illinois. Missouri was about as far west as the strikes went, but the economic results went everywhere. Estimates tallied 100 people killed in unrest across the country. This was more fallout from the Panic of 1873 and at the waning end of the Long Depression. (alternate source says 16th)  {001}


Billy the Kid - Week 28: July 9th thru 15thPat Garrett - Week 28: July 9th thru 15thLCW: Henry “Billy the Kid” {10} McCarty (aka William H. Bonney, Henry Antrim, William Antrim, Kid Antrim) shot through the heart by Sheriff Pat Garrett in Pete Maxwell’s ranch house at Ft. Sumner, NM. Cheesemaker, rustler, horse thief, murderer, regulator, major participant in the Lincoln County War (NM). Or, did Pat really kill a friend of Billy’s while Billy escaped to live until 1950, dying of natural causes?*  Doubtful! There is yet today undying controversy over his real name and origin*. Deadwood Dick said he happened to arrive that very night and saw the body laid out; Dick claimed he knew “Billie” very well. (There is no known confirmation of these claims**.) Pictured: U.S.P.D.; Right: Garrett, Left: The Kid (a ferrotype, reversed to show R-L correctly).  {001}
*Wk. 52, 12/27/1950 – Brushy Bill
**Quotes Index – Billy the Kid QuotesBillie the KidDeadwood Dick


Johnny Ringo - Week 28: July 9th thru 15thJohn Ringo’s+2 {30} body found by teamster/wood hauler John Yost at the “tanks” in Morse’s Canyon in the Chiricahua Mountains, AZ. He is bootless, his pistol’s hammer caught on his watch chain over a fired round, with the top of his head blown off. (No powder burns were evident.) Johnny had been on a two-week drunk with Buckskin Frank Leslie+2 and Billy Claiborne, and was on his way to the outlaw town of Galeyville. His horse was found at the Chiricahua Cattle Company Ranch ten miles away, boots and coat tied to the saddle, reins over the horn. Why was his cartridge belt on upside down? Buckskin Frank Leslie claimed the kill but Doc+2 later said Wyatt+2 had killed him with a single shot from a Winchester rifle. Wyatt and Fred Dodge+2 wanted to be sure Ringo’s death was noted but not connected to them. Other participants said to be Harry Goober, Johnny Green, John Meagher and Harelip Charlie Smith. Here is another of those wonderful controversies about what really happened and why… look it up and enjoy!  {001}
07/13/1882 – above
see also:
Quotes Index – Gunfighter Quotes John Ringo
The Originals Index – Gunfighter Statistics)


The first trainload of Southern California oranges are exported from Los Angles via the transcontinental railroad.  {001}


Passage of The Sherman Silver Purchase Act, a recipe for catastrophe to come.  {001}
see also:
Wk. 07, 02/12/1873 – “The Crime of ’73”
Wk. 09, 02/28/1878 – Bland-Allison Act

7/15 of… 1806

The hastily planned and ill-equipped expedition to explore the southern half of the Louisiana Purchase; commissioned by Commander of the U.S. Army Brigadier General James Wilkinson and led by twenty-seven-year-old Lt. Zebulon Montgomery Pike, leaves St. Louis, MO. It is more likely that the true purpose of the Pike expedition was to assess the military installations and capabilities of the Spanish within the area of exploration.  {001}


LCW: Lincoln, NM. The opening volleys of the “The Five Day War” — the siege of Alexander McSween’s house by the MurphyDolan faction.  {001}


The James Gang +2 robs the evening C, RI & P train from Kansas City at Winston, MO. Conductor William Westfall and one passenger killed. (Jesse, Frank, J.A. “Dick” Liddil and maybe… Clarence and Bob Ford or Clarence & Wood Hite?)  {001}


The Dalton Gang, including “Bitter CreekNewcomb, robs the train in the station at Adair, OK — complete with a shootout with the express car guards, three of whom (Sid Johnson, L.L. Kinney and Charley LaFlore) are lightly wounded. Two local citizens hit by stray rounds, and Dr. W.L. Goff dies of his wounds.  {001}
The Originals Index – Outlaw Gangs Index – Dalton Gang
The Originals Index – Outlaw Gangs Index – Doolin Gang – Wild Bunch

barbed wire divider2 - Week 28: July 9th thru 15thEnd: Week 28, July 9th thru 15th.
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{001} C 12/21; E 08/18; F 06/11; P 12/17

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