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  • Wild West Magazine

    Wild West Book Review: Tough Towns

    Tough Towns: True Tales From the Gritty Streets of the Old West Robert Barr Smith, Twodot (an imprint of Globe Pequot Press), Guilford, Conn., 2007, $12.95. Robert Barr Smith, a law professor at the University of Oklahoma with a love for...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Cash City Booms, Then Goes Bust

    Kansas farmers’ field day could not last. The cattlemen of the 1870s were the first white settlers to occupy the watershed of the Cimarron and Arkansas rivers in southwestern Kansas. The rolling plain, covered with a mat of close-curled...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Celebrating the Fourth Frontier-Style

    Independence Day meant something to William Clark, to those emigrants who arrived at Independence Rock in time and to anyone in need of a lift. Twenty-eight years after the United States proclaimed its independence from England, somebody...

  • Wild West Magazine

    The Hanging of Patrick O’Connor and Frontier Justice

    Before Iowa was Iowa, it was a land without law enforcement or courts, but when cold-blooded murder was committed there in 1834, the settlers in Dubuque improvised quite well. Frontier justice in a lawless land just west of the Mississippi...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Wild West Book Review: 100 Oklahoma Outlaws, Gangsters, and Lawmen

    100 Oklahoma Outlaws, Gangsters, and Lawmen, 1839-1939 by Dan Anderson and Laurence Yadon, Pelican Publishing Co., Gretna, La., 2007, $16.95 paperback. On the occasion of Oklahoma’s 100th anniversary of statehood, it seems to have been...

  • Wild West Magazine

    The First ‘Buffalo Bill’ Was Named William Mathewson, not Cody

    The Kansas frontiersman never became a living legend. William “Buffalo Bill” Cody truly was a frontiersman, scout and Indian fighter. But he became bigger than life as a showman thanks to newspapers, pulp fiction, dime novels,...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Chloride, New Mexico

    In 1879 Englishman Harry Pye hid in a gulch from Apaches while transporting freight via an Army mule train to Camp Ojo Caliente in the Black Range of southwestern New Mexico Territory. The site contained a rich vein of silver chloride. The...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Bidwell: Forgotten Founder of Tombstone?

    Mining entrepreneur Richard Gird reaped a fortune in silver with the Schieffelin brothers but denied under oath that Thomas J. Bidwell was ever his partner in the Tombstone strikes. In the spring of 1882, Ed Schieffelin, his brother...

  • America's Civil War Magazine

    ACW Book Review: Thomas Ewing, Jr.

    Thomas Ewing, Jr.: Frontier Lawyer and Civil War General by Ronald D. Smith, University of Missouri Press, 2008, $44.95 The name of Ohioan Thomas Ewing Jr. crops up in many Civil War books, mostly in reference to events in Civil War Kansas...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Abraham Lincoln Looks West

    Abraham Lincoln stood atop a hill outside Council Bluffs, Iowa, looking west. The broad Missouri River valley stretched from north to south before him. It was 1859, and this was the place, an acquaintance assured him, from which a...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Reckoning the West at the Centennial

    Visitors to Philadelphia’s Centennial International Exhibition of 1876 saw evidence of growth and prosperity in the Western states and territories—but word of wild Indians and Custer’s demise blurred that pretty picture. Martha Ann...

  • Wild West Magazine

    The Ringo Family of Missouri Traveled a Hard-Luck Trail

    Young John witnessed life-altering tragedies on the way to California. The trails to California were fraught with danger, but pioneers like the Missouri family of John Ringo were willing to face it in search of a better life. John, who was...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Wild West Book Review: Jedediah Smith

    Jedediah Smith: No Ordinary Mountain Man  by Barton H. Barbour, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 2009, $26.95.  Comanche Indians cut short Jedediah Smith’s life in 1831, but the trapper and explorer had accomplished much...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Here Be Dragons

    John Wesley Powell’s Colorado River Exploring Expedition completed its rapids-defying Grand Canyon passage 140 years ago, but the disappearance of three members remains a mystery. The explorers were in rough shape on August 27, 1869,...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Westering Walker

    Fur trader and explorer Joe Walker kept up his family’s wandering tradition and contributed mightily to U.S. expansion to the ‘far coast’. At the fur trade rendezvous of 1833 at Horse Creek, on the Green River in what is now Wyoming,...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Bat Masterson, Paladin of the Plains

    The legendary lawman and gambler kept moving to answer the call, whether it came from the scales of frontier justice or the mouths of friends and relatives in need. Alternately fidgeting in his leather-backed bench seat and pacing the...