1861 – Hickok shoots gunman David McCanles over a woman

David McCanles and Wild Bill Hickok

By SoAzNewsX

July 12

1861-Rock Creek, Nebraska– Gunman David McCanles, enraged at Hickok’s seeing his mistress, went to the Rock Creek station, standing outside the cabin and calling for Hickok to come outside. Hickok refused and McCanles went to a side door. It is unclear whether or not he pulled his six-gun. “Come out and fight fair!” McCanles shouted. Hickok did not step outside. Then McCanles shouted that he would go inside the cabin and drag Hickok outside. “There’ll be one less s.o.b. if you try that,” Hickok shouted back. McCanles then entered the side door of the cabin and Hickok shot him through the heart. McCanles’ 12-year-old son, Monroe, ran into the cabin to hold his dying father.

1870- Texas- Battle of the Little Wichita River- Kicking Bird and 100 of his Kiowas battled Captain McLellan and 54 members of the 6th Cavalry. Capt. McLellan had been dispatched to recover the mail from Indians who had attacked a mail coach sixteen miles west of Fort Richardson on July 6.

1876- Deadwood, Dakota Territory- Wild Bill Hickok, age 39, rides into town.

1882- Arizona Territory- the Tombstone Epitaph reports that Johnny Ringo is drunk in Galeyville.


July 13
1832 – U.S. Indian agent and explorer Henry Schoolcraft stumbled upon the source of the Mississippi River. Its 2,552-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico begins at Lake Itasca, Minnesota.

1866- Present day Wyoming- construction begins on Fort Phil Kearny between the forks of the Little Piney and Big Piney Creeks. Red Cloud, Ogalala Crazy Horse, Black Shield, High Backbone of the Minneconjous, seal a pact and over the next six months kill 154 soldiers and settlers in 51 skirmishes and taking a number of stock.

1867- Oregon Territory- Lieutinant Goodale and the 23rd Infantry report five Indians killed and two captured on the Malheur. One soldier is killed.

1871- Clenega de Los pinos, Arizona Territory- the 21st Infantry reports killing fifteen Indians and one soldier killed.

1872- Whetstone Mountains, Arizona Territory- the 5th Cavalry reports killing four Indians in a battle.

1882- George W. Hackett who, was driving a Wells Fargo stage some nine miles outside of Strawberry, Calif. Black Bart suddenly darted from a boulder and stood in front of the stage, stopping it and leveling a shotgun at Hackett. He politely said: “Please throw down your strongbox.” Hackett was not pleased to do so; he reached for a rifle and fired a shot at the bandit. Bart dashed into the woods and vanished, but he received a scalp wound that would leave a permanent scar on the top right side of his forehead.

1898- New Mexico Territory- Sheriff of Dona Ana County, Pat Garrett and four other deputies rode out to a ranch near Wildy Well in the Tularosa Valley of New Mexico to arrest Oliver Lee (1866-1941) and James Gilliland, who stood accused of murder. The Lee ranch, which was about thirty miles south of Alamogordo, was well-guarded and, as the lawmen approached, a ranch hand gave the alarm. The posse members, advancing on the house, were blasted by heavy gunfire from Lee and Gilliland after Garrett had ordered the pair to surrender. Garrett received a slight wound in the side and his deputy, Kent Kearney, was mortally wounded. So intense was the gunfire from the well -barricaded Lee and Gilliland that the lawmen were forced to retreat in disgrace. Both men later surrendered, but Lee and Gilliand were acquitted after a widely publicized trial. This disgrace, coupled with his failure to find the killer of the Fountains, caused Garrett to lose his job as sheriff of Dona Ana County. Lee returned to tending his Dog Canyon Ranch. After selling out in 1914 to several businessmen, he was elected twice to the New Mexico legislature.

Emmett Dalton (May 3, 1871 – July 13, 1937)

1925 – Reporters covering the Broadway beat were most impressed by Will Rogers, an Oklahoma cowboy, who had been standing in for W.C. Fields on a temporary basis in the Ziegfeld Follies.

1937– Former lawman & later member of the Dalton Gang, Emmett Dalton died on this date. He was wounded at the failed double bank robbery in Coffeeville Kansas and entered prison afterwards. He was pardoned in 1907 and moved to California where he wrote for the movie industry in Hollywood.

1950- the Ute tribe is awarded $31.7 million for its land in Utah and Colorado that were taken from it between 1891 and 1938.


July 14
1860- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania- Owen Wister, the author of “The Virginian”, is born.

1861- Fort Bliss, Texas- Texan troops occupy the fort.

1862- New Mexico Territory (present day Arizona) Cochise and Mangas Coloradas lead an attack on a wagon train belonging to the California Column. Sixty braves are killed as the attackers are repulsed.

1864- Last Chance Gulch, Montana Territory- gold is discovered by John Cowen on the site of present day Helena.

1876- Pinery Canyon, Arizona Territory- two prospectors are killed by Apaches.

1878- Lincoln, New Mexico Territory- A.A. McSween and 60 supporters, including Billy the Kid rode into town and prepared for battle. The men occupy three houses but most of the force is in McSween’s house.

Oran Milo Roberts

I879- Texas. The Fifty Cent Act, advocated by Governor Oran M. Roberts and approved by the Texas legislature provided for selling Texas public lands at fifty cents an acre, one half the proceeds to be used to pay the public debt and the other half to establish a permanent school fund. The act opened to settlement about fifty-two West Texas counties, out of which the state sold 3,201,283 acres for $1,600,641.55. On January 22, 1883, the Fifty Cent Act was repealed as a public necessity resulting from fraudulent speculation in the land.

1881-Fort Sumner, New Mexico Terriory- outlaw William H. Bonney Jr., AKA Billy the Kid, was shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett. Billy the Kid was said to have killed 21 men.

1881- Tucson, Arizona Terriory- the first legal hanging in Pima County is held.

1896- Fort MacLeod, Alberta – Jerry Potts 1840-1896 dies of tuberculosis; Métis scout and interpreter who helped NWMP secure loyalty of native people in Alberta and Saskatchewan; born 1840 to Blood mother and white fur trader father; hired as guide and translator for first contingent of North West Mounted Police; arranged first meeting between Assistant Commissioner James McLeod and Blackfoot leaders in fall of 1874; helped bring about signing of Treaty Seven in 1877, assisted in convincing Blackfoot to remain neutral during North West Rebellion of 1885.

1901- Stillwater, Minnesota- Cole Younger was paroled after 25 years in prison. Afterwards Cole and Frank James organized the Cole Younger-Frank James Wild West Show. Cole died in 1916.


July 15
1862- Apache Pass, New Mexico Territory (present day southern Arizona) Cochise and Mangas Coloradas attack the California Column’s wagon train. General Carleton, on the trail of Confederates, was leading a detachment to secure a spring. The attackers retreated after losing another sixty, to howitzer fire. Mangas was wounded and Cochise took him 100 miles through the Chiricahua Mountains to a doctor in Janus. Cochise told the doctor “if Mangas dies, everybody in Janos dies.” Mangas recovered.

1863- Huntsville, Missouri- Confederate raider Bill Anderson and his Bushwhackers hit the local bank, stealing $45,000.

1867- Kansas- George Custer leaves his command without permission in order to search for his wife among the forts in Kansas.

1870- Under the Manitoba Act, all British North America between Ontario and British Columbia became part of the Dominion of Canada. Despite Prime Minister John A. Macdonald’s reluctance, Manitoba entered the Dominion as Canada’s fifth province and not as a territory.

1876- Lincoln, New Mexico Territory- it is reported that J.J. Dolan’s cowboys rode through town “shooting and yelling”.

Site of the Five Day Battle of the Lincoln County war

1878- Lincoln, New Mexico Territory– the Lincoln County War’s “Five Day Battle” begins as Murphy-Dolan faction lays siege to McSween’s home and was ordered to open fire on the McSween mansion. The Murphy-Dolan forces were aided by a company of U.S. infantry. Siege ends on July 19th with the death of McSween as he tries to surrender and the escape of Billy the Kid and a few others.

1881- Fort Sumner, New Mexico- William Bonney’s funeral is held in the old military cemetery. He was buried along side his “PALS”, as was written on the headstone, Tom O’Falliard and Charlie Bowdre.

1881- Winston, Missouri- the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad -Winston Train Robbery- the train was robbed east of Winston and west of Gallatin, Missouri in Daviess County. During the robbery William Westfall, the conductor was shot twice and was killed as well as Frank Mc Millan Jr. a stone mason who was caught in crossfire. Stories of revenge surfaced afterwards indicating that Mr. Westfall was the conductor for the Pinkertons the night they threw the bomb at the James Farm Home which killed young Archie Samuel and resulted in mother Zerelda James-Samuels arm being amputated. It is generally believed that there were five to seven robbers at the Winston Robbery. The men could have netted as much as $ 2,000.00. There were reports varied $ 8,000.00 to $15,000.00. In August 1883, Frank James was tried and acquitted.

1888- Chickasaw Nation (present day Oklahoma)- gunman Malachi Allen, shot and killed Shadrach Peters and Cy Love after quarreling over the ownership of a saddle. Allen engaged in a vicious gunfight with Deputy Marshal McAlester and the posse which had been organized to bring the desperado back to Fort Smith, Arkansas. In the heat of the battle, Allen sustained a serious wound in his shooting arm. He was taken back to Fort Smith where the arm was amputated shortly before the hangman affixed the noose to his neck on Apr. 19, 1889.

1894- Rawlins, Wyoming- Butch Cassidy and Al Hainer were sent to the penitentiary. Cassidy and Hainer, another cowboy, ran an extortion racket, selling Colorado ranchers protection, telling them that they would make sure that cattle was not rustled nor any of their property damaged by fire or other man -made hazards. Cassidy and Hainer were the man-made hazards, of course, and any rancher who did not pay his monthly protection fee had his cattle rustled by Cassidy and Hainer. Complaining cattlemen caused Wyoming lawmen John Chapman and Bob Calverly to hunt Cassidy and Hainer down to their cabin hideout near Auburn, Wyoming. The lawmen crept up on Hainer as he was tending to the horses, wrestled him to the ground and tied him to a tree. Calverly then entered the cabin, his six-gun drawn. As soon as Cassidy spotted him he leaped for his two six-guns and gun belt, which were on a chair. Calverly fired four shots, one of which creased Cassidy’s scalp and knocked him unconscious. Both men were quickly tried for extortion, sentenced to two years, and sent to the penitentiary at Rawlins.

1939 – Patrick Wayne John Wayne’s son was born on this day. Actor: Young Guns, McClintock, Big Jake etc.


July 16
1859- Arizona Apaches raid the Sonora Exploring and Mining Company and drive off a large portion of the livestock.

1866- Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming– 40 Cheyenne chiefs and warriors, including Two Moon, Black Horse, and Dull Knife arrive to parley with Colonel Carrington. Carrington demonstrates his howitzers prompting the Cheyenne to agree to a “lasting peace with the whites and all travelers on the road,” meaning the Bozeman Trail

1876- Cheyenne chief Yellow Hand and 40 braves left the Red Cloud Agency in northwestern Nebraska intending to visit the site of the Indian victory on the Little Big Horn. However, he was unaware that two troops of the 5th Cavalry were camped at War Bonnet Creek, in their path. In the ensuing fight Buffalo Bill Cody was thrown from his horse at the same time Yellow Hand, wounded by Cody, hit the ground. Buffalo Bill recovered first fired a second time with his Winchester and killed Yellow Hand. Cody took off Yellow Hands war bonnet and scalped him with a Bowie knife, saying “First scalp for Custer!”

1886- Edward Judson, AKA Ned Buntline, died. In his early years Ned lead a wild life as a writer, was shot at and even lynched (and cut down by friends saving his life). In 1869 Buntline, who was then earning $20,000 (the highest paid writer of his time) a year from writing went west looking for fresh material eventually bringing Buffalo Bill Cody and Wild Bill Hickok into the limelight.


July 17
1862- Montana Territory- Crow Indians attack Piegan Indians and white settlers on the Marias River, killing one settler.

1866- Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming- the Red Cloud War begins in the Powder River region as Red Cloud’s Ogallala Sioux stampede 175 horses and mules of the 18th Infantry Regiment on the construction site of the fort.

1870- Hayes City, Kansas- Wild Bill Hickok was in a saloon when seven intoxicated cavalrymen from nearby Fort Hays jumped him and held him down. One of them held a six-gun to Wild Bill’s ear and pulled the trigger but the gun misfired. Wild Bill managed to regain his feet and he pulled his pistols, shooting Private Jerry Lanihan through the wrist and knee and another trooper, John Kile, who was hit in the stomach. The rest of the troopers backed off as Hickok retreated from the saloon. Lanihan survived but Kile died the next day.

1874- near present day El Reno, Oklahoma, Fort Reno is established on the banks of the North Canadian River.

1886- Prince Albert Saskatchewan – a lone outlaw holds up Prince Albert mail coach; it was the first stagecoach robbery in Saskatchewan.

One of the towns that sprang up during the Klondike Gold Rush

1897– the Klondike gold rush began with the arrival of the treasure ships Portland and the Excelsior at Seattle, Washington bearing miners from the Yukon, who carried suitcases and boxes full of gold. Thousands began to book passages north after the miners spread tales of fortunes waiting to be made. The gold had been discovered in August 1896 on a tributary of the Klondike River later named Bonanza Creek. News of a strike in Nome, Alaska, ended the stampede in 1898. It’s estimated that by then prospectors had spent $50 million reaching the Klondike, about the same amount taken from the diggings in the five years after the first strike.


July 18
1843- Kentucky- Virgil Earp, the oldest of the Earp brothers, was born.

1859- California – Sheriff J. Boggs trapped outlaws Richard Barter, AKA Rattlesnake Dick, AKA Dick Woods, and George Skinner in a mountain pass near Auburn, California at night. Barter and Skinner were wanted for stealing $80,000 in California gold from muleskinners Boggs fired one bullet which entered the heart of Rattlesnake Dick, killing him instantly. Skinner was wounded, taken into custody, and later given a long prison sentence.

1867- Hannibal, Missouri- Margaret Tobin, AKA the Unsinkable Molly Brown of Titanic fame, is born.

1878- Lincoln, New Mexico Territory- Tom Cullens, aka Joe Bowers, is wounded while standing in McSweens kitchen. Ben Ellis is shot in the neck while tending his coral.

1884- Dodge City, Kansas- Tom Nixon, who recently took Mysterious Dave Mather’s job as assistant marshal, shoots at Mathers, claiming he was drawn upon. Nixon was released on bond.

1901- Wyoming- Willie Nickels, the 13 year-year-old son of a sheepman was killed by 2 slugs from a Winchester. Tom Horn was eventually hanged for the crime.


July 19

1867- Dakota Territory (present day Wyoming)- construction began on Fort Fetterman near the North Platte River.

1878- New Mexico Territory- John Selman arrived in the Pecos Valley. His gang called the “Selman Scouts” are cattle rustlers. In 1895 Selman kills John Wesley Hardin.

1878- Lincoln, New Mexico Territory- the siege at Alexander McSween’s home ends after 5 days. After Billy the Kid killed two men who came close to the house he shouted to his comrades: “Come on!” With that, Billy, two guns blazing in his hands, followed by his friends, as they made their mass escape, hundreds of bullets smashing into the building around them. The Kid miraculously fought his way through the lines of besiegers, wounding several, and made it to the nearby river, plunging in and getting to the other side where he was covered by high reeds. His friends, including Tom O’Folliard, followed and most were wounded. McSween refused to desert his home. He stepped into the yard to surrender and was shot to death, nine bullets entering his body. Murphy faction member Robert Beckworth was credited with killing McSween. Beckworth was killed later that day by Billy the Kid.

1879- Las Vegas, New Mexico Territory- Doc Holliday was part owner of a saloon, his partner and financial backer was one-time lawman from Dodge City, John Joshua Webb. Webb and Holliday were seated at a card table in the saloon when Mike Gordon, a former army scout, began an argument at the bar, He stormed from the saloon, standing in the street and shouting obscenities at Holliday. Gordon then drew his gun and began firing bullets into the front of the building. Doc stepped outside and a bullet from Gordon’s pistol missed him. He drew his gun slowly, then fired a single shot that sent Gordon crashing into the dirt. Gordon died the following day, cursing Holliday with his last breath.

Sitting Bull

1881- Fort Buford, Dakota Territory– Sitting Bull and 187 Sioux surrender after four years of exile in Canada.

1881- Santa Fe, New Mexico Territory- Pat Garrett arrives in town and announces that he is going to resign as sheriff of Lincoln County.

1881- Arena Blanca, New Mexico Territory- three citizens are reported killed in an Indian raid.

1884 -Canada- a crowd of about 500 turned out in Prince Albert, N.W.T., to hear Louis Riel speak. The Metis leader had returned earlier that month from political exile in the United States.



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