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Law and Disorder
By Robert Barr Smith
Having law was good—unless the law was inept, lazy or downright crooked. But when there was little law, exasperated citizen bands took matter into their own hands, enforcing their idea of the Code of the West.

The Long Arms of the Law
By Robert Barr Smith
A wide variety of lawmen earned their pay west of the Mississippi.

Badges of Courage
A sampling of the metal stars and circles that lawmen pinned on their chests.

A Tale of Three Western Cities
By Roger Jay
Wichita, Dodge City and Leadville used various means to control and civilize the weapon-carrying men without destroying business.

Justice of the Fleece: Judge Roy Bean
By Bill Harris
The Texas justice of the peace doubled as a saloonkeeper, and he upheld the law west of the Pecos River as long as it was good for his own business.

Double Trouble From Notorious Kids
By Donna B. Ernst
The Texas justice of the peace doubled as a saloonkeeper, and he upheld the law west of the Pecos River as long as it was good for his own business.

Dynamite Stage Debut for a Train Robber’s Daughter
By Jay O’Connell
Her father was Chris Evans and her fiancé was John Sontag, and she wasn’t afraid to tell Californians all about it in the melodrama Evans and Sontag: The Visalia Bandits.

Editor’s Letter


News and events celebrating the days of yesterday, plus author Robert Jay’s 10 reasons for second thoughts about the Second Amendment.

Bob McCubbin, whose collection of gunfighter and lawmen photographs has long dazzled fans of the Wild West, talks about collecting and his position as president of the recently formed Wild West History Association.

Herman Lehmann lived with the Apaches and Comanches in the 1870s.

Gunfighters and Lawmen
By Jay O’Connell
California outlaw Chris Evans robbed trains and sometimes killed, but there was another side to him—tender, loving father of Eva Evans.
Pioneers and Settlers
By Layton L. Hooer
About a half dozen years before William F. Cody was first called Buffalo Bill, Kansas frontiersman William Mathewson was known by that famous moniker.

Indian Life
By Mike Coppock
Chief Bowles and the Cherokees of Texas were friends of Sam Houston, but Houston’s successor as president of the republic, Mirabeau Lamar, wanted to get rid of them.


Western Enterprise
By John R. Sanders
Faro on the frontier took many forms from impromptu affairs on street corners to banks run by opulent gambling dens—the only trouble was finding an honest game.

Ghost Towns
By Jim Pettengill
Among the best mines in Animas Forks, Colo., were the Gold Prince, Columbus, Red Cloud, Silver Coin, Early Bird, Little Roy and the Big Giant.

By Linda Wommack
The recently built Pikes Peak Heritage Center commemorates Cripple Creek, which was once the richest gold camp in Colorado.

Guns of the West
By Lee A. Silva
From the 1850s to 1870s, gun makers on the West Coast produced California bear rifles, large-caliber muzzleloaders made expressly for killing grizzlies.

Art of the West
By Johnny D. Boggs
New Mexico literary icon Max Evans has a way with words, a way with horses and a way with cowboy pictures.


Must-read books and must-see movies about judges in the Wild West. Plus reviews of recent nonfiction books and a look at the DVD The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Comanche Moon.


This Patterson Colt went for $330,000.






On the frontier west of the Mississippi, vigilance committees sometimes rose up to punish criminals where law enforcement was absent, irregular, lax or corrupt. This phenomena occurred in the wilds of Montana but also in such big cities as San Francisco. Were vigilantes really needed in the Old West to ensure justice and protect the lives of ordinary citizens?

Wyatt Earp’s Vendetta Posse: It was posse vs. posse in Arizona Territory.
Billy the Kid and the U.S. Marshals Service: Federal officers played roles in the Lincoln County War.
Max Evans Uncovered: The New Mexico resident has shined in literary and artistic circles and was once in a Sam Peckinpah movie.

“I read the whole magazine and then go to the Web site for more!”—Anonymous

On the cover: Apache County Sheriff Commodore Perry Owens killed three men and wounded another in a celebrated 1887 shootout in Holbrook, Arizona Territory, during the feud known as the Pleasant Valley War (Robert G. McCubbin Collection).