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Social History

  • Wild West Magazine

    Comanche Attack on Early Texas Frontier

    Mission built for Apaches targeted. Long before they terrorized American settlers in Texas, Comanches made life miserable there not only for the Spanish colonials but also for the Plains Apaches. The destruction of a Spanish mission near...

  • Wild West Magazine

    The West Was Tough, But He Took the Toll

    Wootton was a shrewd entrepreneur. Even Dick Wootton’s two hunting dogs didn’t want any part of the rabid wolf that had fearlessly entered the trapper’s camp. After Wootton stood up and encouraged the dogs, they went for the wolf,...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Interview: Badmen of All Colors Feared Bass Reeves

    Burton tells of one tough lawman. Bass Reeves was arguably the most outstanding peace officer in wild and dangerous Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) and one of the best in the entire Old West. In 1992 he became the first black man...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Cochise County Archives Are Delightfully Taxing

    Tax collectors preserve history. It was in the spring of 1881 that the Arizona Territory Legislature created Cochise County, because of the rapid rise of Tombstone’s mining-based economy. The first tax collector for the newly formed...

  • Wild West Magazine

    When Bob Dalton Stood on the Right Side of the Law

    Although Bob, like several of his brothers, is known as an outlaw, he was a lawman in 1888 when he shot bothersome Charlie Montgomery in the line of duty. Bob Dalton didn’t take kindly to anybody fooling around with his girlfriend,...

  • Wild West Magazine

    A Few Good Points About the Golden Spike

    Inexhaustibly, the Union Pacific built westward and the Central Pacific built eastward until their rails joined to form the first transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869, with the driving of a golden spike at Promontory Point, Utah....

  • Wild West Magazine

    The Southwest City Raid: Bill Doolin Wasn’t Foolin’

    The former Dalton Gang member was fortunate to miss the fiasco at Coffeyville, Kansas, but now his new bank-robbing gang faced the wrath and bullets of a Missouri town’s stirred-up citizens. When Bill Doolin and his gang robbed the bank...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Comanche Life Viewed Through Captive Eyes

    Babb kids saw the good and the bad. In mid-September 1866, a band of 40 Noconi Comanches-raided through Wise County, Texas, and struck John Babb’s ranch. Theodore (age 14), called “Dot” by the family, and Bianca (10) were at play...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Wild West Review: Rawhide

    Rawhide—The Complete First Season 1959, DVD 2006 (Paramount Home Video), 7 discs, 1,150 minutes. Although the show is remembered today primarily for having introduced Clint Eastwood to the Western world, Rawhide had a lot more going for...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Wild West Review: September Dawn

    September Dawn Release date: May 4, 2007, Distributor: Black Diamond Pictures, R rated, 110 minutes. Imagine a love story between a good-looking, blue-eyed Nazi guard and a pretty dark-haired Jewish girl at the Dachau concentration camp or...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Wild West Book Review: Beyond the Missouri

    Beyond the Missouri:The Story of the American West by Richard W. Etulain, Univ. of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 2006, $39.95 cloth, $24.95 paperback. Trying to tell the story of the American West in one volume is like trying to tell your...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Jeweler Magnus Buckles Down

    A turquoise cow skull belt buckle. The cow skull has long been a symbol of the Old West, and turquoise has an even longer history in the West. Those were just two of the reasons that Santa Fe, New Mexico, jewelry artist Douglas Magnus of...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Dawson, New Mexico

    John Barkley Dawson opened mines in the Raton coalfield of northeastern New Mexico Territory, perhaps as early as 1899 but definitely by 1902; he sold the mines and town site to the Phelps Dodge Mining Company in 1906. In 1910, 70 percent...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Captive Clara Blinn’s Plea: ‘If you love us save us’

    “A fate worse than death” was a common frontier phrase for what was thought to be the destiny of any woman unfortunate enough to be taken by the Indians. White settlers were captured by Indians for about 300 years, from when the first...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Utah Uncovered: A Tale of Three Photos

    A pioneer railroad man, an old mountain man and a prominent Indian chief are featured in images taken 140 years ago in Utah Territory. In the mid-1970s, in my quest to find original photos of the Old West for my personal research archives,...

  • Wild West Magazine

    A Plains Romance: George and Libbie Custer

    The intelligent, educated and spirited wife of the one-time Civil War ‘Boy General’ turned Western Indian fighter stuck by her almost-true-blue Autie, even after his death kept them apart for 57 years. July 5, 1876, dawned with the...