1858 – Road now open from Ft. Yuma to El Paso

A wagon encampment at Maricopa Wells, circa 1857.

By SoAzNewsX

July 5
1858- Kansas Territory (present day Colorado)- William Green Russell and a party of whites and Cherokees from Georgia discover gold on the future site of Denver.

1858- Texas– a new wagon road from Fort Yuma to El Paso skirting the Gila Desert is completed.

1861- Cartage, Missouri- Union soldiers attack pro-secessionists Missouri troops. The confederates out number the Federal troops 3 to 1 and drive the invaders back. Frank James and Cole Younger met at this battle.

1867- Oregon Territory- two companies of the 1st Cavalry, led by Lieutenant Colonel George Crook, fight Indians on Dunder and Blitzen Creek, killing five and capturing three.

1871- Jacksboro, Texas- Satanta and Big Tree are sentenced to hang by a cowboy jury for their part in killing seven men in raids in Texas. Satanta had bragged of the killings at Fort Sill and was arrested on the spot.

1871- Kansas- Mexican-born Juan Bideno worked as a cowboy but was known as a fast-gun and hired out for killings, one report has it. In June 1871, Bideno signed on to a cattle drive from Texas to the railhead at Abilene, Kansas. The trail boss was 22-year-old Billy Cohron, who noticed Bideno’s slack work and called him on it several times, leading to hard words between the pair. As the herd crossed the Cottonwood River on this date, Cohron and Bideno again fell to arguing and then went for their guns. Bideno shot the youthful trail boss dead and fled, riding south toward Texas. Bideno was later killed by John Wesley Hardin.

Far West – Missouri River “mountain boat”, built 1870

1876- Bismark, Dakota Territory– the steamboat The Far West completes its journey down the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers, 710 miles in 54 hours.

1876- Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory- the wives of the men of the 7th Cavalry congregate at the Custer home to sing hymns but a feeling of “impending disaster” ends the singing. None of the women know what happened to their husbands, who survived and who didn’t.

1881- Tombstone, Arizona Territory- Judge Spicer issues a warrant for the arrest of Doc Holliday for complicity in the murder of Bud Philpot, and the attempted stage robery near Contention several months before. Cochise County sherff John Behan arrests Holliday, who is immediately released on $5,000 bail put up by Wyatt Earp and the proprietors of the Alhambra saloon.

1896- Oklahoma Territory, fourteen prisoners including Bill Doolin and “Dynamite” Dick Clifton escape from a federal jail in Guthrie. The man that engineered the break was a black criminal named George Lane, who was part Cherokee Indian.

1904 – Burrton, Kansas- Milburn Stone, AKA Doc Adams, was born. Actor: Gunsmoke, Drango, Smoke Signal, White Feather, Arrowhead, Siege at Red River, Branded, Calamity Jane and Sam Bass, Royal Mounted Rides Again, The Daltons Ride Again, Death Valley Outlaws, The Great Train Robbery, The Phantom Cowboy, An Angel from Texas, Colorado; Notable TV guest appearances (other than Gunsmoke) “Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok” (1951); passed away June 12, 1980.


July 6
1863- Fort Laramie (present day Wyoming)- John Bozeman leaves the fort to blaze a trail to the Yellowstone Valley in what will be named the Bozeman Trail.

1869- Arizona Territory- nine Indians are killed and ten wounded by cavalry as reported by Lieutenant McCleave.

1876- Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory-Captain McCaskey of the 20th Infantry receives a communiqué from General Terry at 2:00 a.m. He summons officers and assigns committees to inform 27 widows. Elizabeth Custer is wakened at 7 a.m. with the news of the deaths of her husband, her brother-in-laws Tom Custer, Boston Custer, and James Calloway, and her nephew Henry Armstrong Reed. Elizabeth then accompanies an officer as he visits 25 other widows.

Frank James married his childhood sweetheart, Annie Ralston.

1886- Denver, Colorado- the Academy of Music burned down. In addition, the theater, Kinneavy’s Saloon, the St. Cloud restaurant, two stores and the Western union office were destroyed. Next door, the hotel Doc Holliday was living in, the Metropolitan, was spared as were the Board of Trade saloon, a warehouse, the German National Bank and Charpiot’s restaurant suffered a scorching loss of windows from the heat.

1944– Annie Ralston James, the widow of Frank James, dies at age 91.

1998- Roy Rogers died (November 5, 1911 – July 6, 1998)


July 7
1846- U.S. annexation of California was proclaimed at Monterey after the surrender of a Mexican garrison.

1862 -Missouri- the first railroad post office was tested on the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad.

1867- Arizona Territory- the 8th Cavalry reports one soldier wounded in action against Indians at Beale’s Spring.

1875- Montana Territory- Indians killed three members of the 7th Infantry near Camp Lewis.

The Missouri Pacific

1876- Otterville, Missouri– Jesse and Frank James, Cole, Jim and Bob Younger, Clell Miller, Charlie Pitts, and Bill Chadwell were waiting for the Missouri Pacific as it slowed to cross an old railroad bridge east of Otterville. They took $15,000.

1879- Caldwell, Kansas- George Flatt was a lawman in Caldwell and also operated an elegant saloon with William Horseman. On this date Flatt was involved in a shootout after two men, George Wood and Jake Adams, who began firing pistols while drinking at the Occidental Saloon. Constable W.C. Kelly and Deputy John Wilson, accompanied by Flatt and W.H. Kiser, entered the saloon. During the ensuing shootout Flatt killed the two outlaws, while Kiser was grazed in the temple and Wilson was wounded in the wrist.

1903- Parachute, Colorado- a shootout of July 5th ends in the suicide of a man authorities claim is Harvey Logan, AKA Kid Curry.

1912- Stockholm, Sweden- Indian Jim Thorpe wins four of five pentathlon events at the Olympic games. He is striped of the medals a year later when it is learned that he played semi-pro baseball.



July 8
1861- New Mexico Territory- General Sibley is put in charge of the Confederate troops in the territory.

1864- Bozeman, Montana Territory- Jim Bridger leads his first wagon train bound for Virginia City.

1867- Oregon Territory- Captain Baker and the 1st Cavalry kill two Indians and capture 14 near the Malheur River.

1867- Arizona Territory- the 8th Cavalry fight Indians near Truxton’s Spring. One officer and one enlisted are killed and three Indians dead.

1867- Fort Sumner, New Mexico Territory- two detachments of the 3rd Cavalry battle Indians near the fort. Five soldiers are killed and four wounded.

1869- Kansas- a military telegraph line links Sante Fe, New Mexico Territory and Fort Leavenworth.

Fort Whoop-up

1874- Alberta– Established in 1869 by two Montana men, Fort Whoop-Up was the most notorious of the American whisky posts located in southern Alberta. Located at the junction of the Oldman and St. Mary rivers near present-day Lethbridge, Alberta, the illicit whisky trade with the native peoples of southern Alberta flourished in the unpoliced area. On this date, the North-West Mounted Police began their march from Manitoba to Fort Whoop Up. The whisky posts were abandoned with the arrived of the police, and Fort Whoop-Up served as an outpost for the force.

1875- Helena, Montana Territory- the famous “Hanging Tree” is chopped down by a Methodist preacher.

1878- Birch Creek, Oregon Territory- General Howard leads seven companies against Bannock Indians.

1897- Skagway, Alaska Territory- conman Soapy Smith is shot and killed.

1908-Aberta- One evening in the spring of 1908, two railway engineers were shunting their engine along the tracks west of Medicine Hat, Alta. when they saw the lights of another train rushing towards them on the same track. Before they could jump, the approaching train veered away, and with its whistle blowing, sped past on their right – although at that point there was no track there. A month later the same thing occurred – the lights, the whistle, a glimpse of passengers and a friendly wave from the crew before the train seemed to switch to another track that didn’t exist. On July 8, it appeared to happen again, but this time it was all too real. The Spokane Flyer and the local train met head-on. Eleven people were killed, including the engineers who had first seen the phantom train which seemed to foretell the tragedy that was to come.

1914- Lassen Peak, California- a volcano believed to be dormant begins to erupt.

Joel McCrea as Jace Pearson. TALES OF THE TEXAS RANGERS

1950 – Joel McCrea appeared in the lead role of Tales of the Texas Rangers. The soon-to-be-popular show debuted on NBC radio.

1958 – The first gold record album presented by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) was awarded. It went to the soundtrack LP, Oklahoma! The honor signified that the album had reached one million dollars in sales.


July 9
1860- Lawrence and Fort Scott, Kansas- temperature reaches 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

1866- Camp Cooke, Montana Territory- the territory’s first permanent army post is established near the mouth of the Judith River.

Henry Tibbe

1878- Washington, Missouri– the corncob pipe was patented by Henry Tibbe (the second most popular use for a corncob…)

1903- Colorado- Harvey Logan, who rode with the Wild Bunch, “may” have died on this date. A train near Parachute, Colorado was held up by three men. One was killed in a gun battle near Glenwood Springs and identified as Tap Duncans a cowhand working in the area. Based on photographs some top Pinkertons and Knoxville jail guards were convinced that it was really Harvey Logan.

1923- Calgary, Alberta – Guy Weadick holds first Chuck Wagon Race at the Stampede, persuading 6 local ranchers to risk their wagons and horses in what will be billed as ‘the half mile of hell’. The wagons were supposed to line up adjacent to the barrels along the track. Then the outriders dismantled the tent-fly, gathered the branding irons and loaded the stove into their team’s wagon. The wagons would make a figure eight around the barrels, round the track and head for the finish line. The outriders then dismounted, unhitched the horses, set up the tent canopy and the stove and lit a fire in the stove. The first outfit to get smoke emerging from the chimney won the race.


July 10
1861- Fort Breckenridge, New Mexico Territory (present day Arizona)- the fort is demolished and abandoned by Union troops.

1863- Idaho Territory is created.

1869- Thunder Bay, Ontario – A group of prospectors led by Montreal mining engineer Thomas McFarlane discovered a rich vein of galena near Prince Arthur’s Landing on Lake Superior which later became the Silver Islet silver mine.

1881- Riverton, Iowa- Frank and Jesse James rob the Davis and Sexton bank of $5,000.

1886- Outlaw Sam Archer, the youngest of the Archer Brother gang, was held for trial and, following a speedy conviction for robbery and murder, was legally hanged on this date. Vigilantes hanged Tom, Mort, and John without trial.
1890– Wyoming became the 44th state. Wyoming was named after an Algonquin Indian word meaning ‘large prairie place’. Appropriately, the Indian paintbrush that covers much of the large prairie is the state flower and the meadowlark, frequently seen circling the prairie land, is the state bird. Another Indian term, Cheyenne, is also the name of the state capital. Wyoming is called the Equality State because it is the first state to have granted women the right to vote (1869).

1901- Stillwater, Minnesota- Cole and Jim Younger were released from the penitentiary.

1913- Death Valley, California- the warmest temperature ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere is recorded at 134 degrees F.


July 11
1861- Montana Territory- the steamboat Chippewa exploded on Poplar Creek. It was loaded with whiskey and gunpowder.

1869- Colorado Territory- the Battle of Summit Springs takes place as Tall Bull’s Cheyenne “Dog Soldiers” were attacked by the 5th Cavalry in an attempt to free two captives. One of the two girls was killed and the other rescued. Tall Bull and 51 of his warriors were killed and fifteen captured. This was the last major battle against Indians in Colorado. William F. Cody was a scout at Summit Springs.

D A “Jack” Harris (1834 – 1882)

1882- Texas– Jack Harris, born and raised in Texas, led an adventuresome life. At an early age he worked for the U.S. Army as a scout and Indian fighter. During the Civil War, Harris served in the Confederate cavalry. Following the war, he fought in Central American revolutions. Returning to the U.S., Harris was one of the last great Buffalo hunters, providing meat and skins for the railroads moving west in the late 1870s. He then moved to San Antonio where he served briefly as a policeman, later becoming a gambler and winning several small fortunes. He and another gambler, Ernest Hart, formed a partnership and opened the Green Front Saloon, which had a full theater, the Vaudeville House, on the second floor. Harris’ wealth grew, and he was well liked in San Antonio. One of Harris’ few enemies was Texas gunfighter Ben Thompson. Ben Thompson rode into San Antonio drunk stormed, into the Green Front Saloon, demanding that Harris get a gun and meet him in the street. Ben was still ticked over a poker dispute from 1880. Harris, who entered the saloon after Thompson had left, got a gun and waited inside the saloon for his nemesis. Thompson appeared a short time later and saw Harris waiting with a shotgun behind some Venetian blinds. Before Harris could fire, Thompson squeezed off a fatal round that smashed through the blinds and into Harris’ right lung. The gambler fell to the floor and Thompson fired another round at him and left. Harris got to his feet, staggered upstairs to his apartment, and died there that night. Thompson, who was the city marshal of Austin, Texas, at the time, resigned and turned himself over to the San Antonio sheriff. He pleaded self-defense in a quick trial and was acquitted.

1884- Saskatchewan- Louis Riel arrived in Saskatchewan to organize the Metis.

1896- Fort Smith, Arkansas- the towns last multiple hanging is carried out as Rufus Buck, Lewis Davis, Lucky Davis, Sam Sampson, Maomi July for their part in a three-day rape and murder spree through the Creek Nation.

1899- On this date Tom Ketchum, AKA Black Jack, and a couple of men attempted to rob their 4th train in short period but were unable to shake the posse that was hot on their trail. After a gunfight which killed two sheriffs, Ketchum, the most wanted man in the southwest, was arrested. After many appeals he was hung April 26, 1901 and literally lost his head by a quirk of fate.

1911- Ontario- a fierce forest fire broke out near Timmins in Northern Ontario. High winds fanned several fires into a single front 40 kilometers wide. It raged for more than a week — burning 22-hundred square kilometers and destroying the mining communities of South Porcupine, Cochrane and Goldlands. More than 200 people died and more than three-thousand were left homeless.

1920- Yul Brynner (Taidje Khan) was born. Starred in The Magnificent Seven, Westworld and other movies; passed away Oct 10, 1985.



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