The Mysterious Morgan Earp
By Lee Silva
He might have been the “third” Earp behind Wyatt and Virgil as far as reputation, but Morgan was often where the action was—most notably at the 1881 gunfight in Tombstone.
Death in the West
By Leo W. Banks
Custer and Crockett died with more drama than most Westerners. But some of the “best” demises were of little-known characters whose endings were too strange or too funny to forget.
Apache Ambush at Cottonwood Wash
By Doug Hamilton, Berndt Kühn and Larry Ludwig
An Army escort wagon bearing two officers and eight others didn’t stand a chance when Indians attacked, and the ordeal was just beginning for survivors.
The Wrong Towns for Outlaws
By Robert Barr Smith
Citizens in Northfield, Minn., Coffeyville, Kan., and Meeker, Colo., had something in common when badmen struck their peaceful communities—they struck back.
Gun Smoke at the Tunnel Saloon
By John Boessenecker
Pete Gabriel was one of the great lawmen of the Southwestern frontier, but he is best known for his classic May 1898 Old West gun duel with former deputy Joe Phy in Florence, Arizona Territory.
Award-winning author Johnny D. Boggs ranks the best sporting events in Western history, Pat Garrett tells his wife he can’t sleep, and we present “frontier” news and upcoming events.
A man, his shotgun and his favorite hunting dog are all fired up—well, sort of.
By Johnny D. Boggs
Kiowa writer N. Scott Momaday, recipient of the Western Writers of America’s 2010 Owen Wister Award, discusses his work and the preservation of native traditions.
Gunfighters and Lawmen
By Larry Wood
This Missouri family’s quarrelsome dispositions and other bad traits earned them the moniker “Killin’ Killians.”
Pioneers and Settlers
By Donna Humphrey-Donnell
Once a madam in Fort Worth’s notorious Hell’s Half Acre, Eunice Gray made headlines after her death, as some folks believed her to be Etta Place.
By David McCormick
The daring rescue of a white lieutenant earned Medals of Honor for three black Seminole scouts seven months after another such scout earned an MoH for “habitual courage.”
By John Koster
Bullwhackers were hardnosed men who drank, gambled, smoked and swore at oxen and fellow humans alike, but John Bratt, son of a clergyman, did not fit the mold.
Guns of the West
By Lee A. Silva
In a real Old West gunfight, participants seldom fired multiple shots by “fanning” a six-shooter. In Hollywood, though, John Wayne and friends frequently fanned.
By Les Kruger
The miners turned from gold to silver and zinc in the Arizona town that became Ruby.
By Dave Lauterborn
Earp family photos and keepsakes anchor the thrilling Tombstone Western Heritage Museum.
Art of the West
By Johnny D. Boggs
Drawn to Apache subjects, Paul Sheldon found Alchesay interesting enough to twice render him in acrylic—at two stages of the scout’s life.
Books and movies relating to frontier towns, plus reviews of new books, a game and a film.
Once hit by the Dalton Gang, this Coffeyville, Kan., bank still looks inviting today.
On the cover: This is the best-known and most often published photo of Morgan Earp, who backed up his more famous brothers Wyatt and Virgil at the 1881 Tombstone street fight. Compare this image to another Morgan Earp photo in the print edition of this issue. (Arizona Historical Society, Tucson; colorization by Slingshot Studio, New Hampton, N.H.)
Discussion: George Custer and David Crockett each died dramatically in battle—exactly how remains open to debate—at the Little Bighorn and the Alamo, respectively. Those might be the two most memorable deaths in the West, but what other Western endings do you find the most curious, interesting, ironic or simply the best?
Dressed to Kill: The double bank robbery attempt by the Dalton Gang in Coffeyville, Kan., on October 5, 1892, might have been laughable had it not turned out so bloody.
At the O.K. Corral: Did Tom McLaury Have a Gun? Tom McLaury shot Morgan Earp, say some, while others say Tom didn’t even have a gun that fateful day.
Also be sure to visit GreatHistory.com, where you can read and write about history, even if you don’t know a “blog” from a berdache.