1868- Fort Leavenworth, Kansas- the horse Comanche arrives from St. Louis and receives a “US” brand. Shortly later the horse is bought from the government by Captain Myles Keogh for $90. Comanche is later the only survivor at Custer’s Massacre.
1869- Promontory, Utah– a golden spike was driven where the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Rail Roads met, marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States. The spike, valued at $400, was driven, along with bronze spikes into a laurel wood tie by the president of the Central Pacific, Leland Stanford. Immediately after the celebration, the spikes and tie were removed and replaced with the standard pine tie and steel spikes.
1873- Chickasaw Nation- a pair of outlaws, Isham Seely and Gibson Ishtanubbee, knocked on the door of “Squirrel” Funny, a white farmer who lived with his black housekeeper and cook in a small cabin. The two men asked if they might be allowed to spend the night before continuing their travels the next morning. The farmer agreed to their request and showed them where they could bunk down for the evening. Just before dawn the following morning, Istanubbee grabbed an ax from the yard and drove it into Funny’s skull as he slept; Seely beat the housekeeper to death with a pistol, and the two looted the house. The gunmen buried a dress belonging to the woman in a hollowed-out log. They sold a pair of boots that had belonged to the farmer before attempting to flee from the Chickasaw Nation. Seely and Ishtanubbee did not get far before they were arrested and taken to Fort Smith for trial. They were tried and convicted by Judge Isaac Parker who sentenced them to death on the gallows, Apr. 21, 1876. Before Seely was dropped to eternity he let loose with a fearful war whoop: “Chicak-a-mah!”
1878- Mesilla, New Mexico Territory- a murder warrant is issued for William Bonney, AKA Billy the Kid.
1881- Arizona Territory– two mailbags are taken in a holdup of the Canyon Diablo to Flagstaff Wells Fargo stage. There was $125,000 in gold, silver, and coins in the bags. A U.S. Cavalry detachment killed five suspected bandits near Veit Spring but the loot is not found. In 1913 Short Jimmy McGuire produces some of the stolen coins, but after downing four drinks at Black’s Saloon in Flagstaff he dies of a heart attack. The treasure was never found.
1885- Ashland, Kansas- a gunfight erupts in the Junction Saloon during a card game, pitting “Mysterious Dave” Mather, and his brother and bartender Josiah, against David Barnes. David Barnes is killed and two bystanders are wounded. The Mather brothers are arrested and leave town after posting a $3,000 bond.
1870- Canada paid the Hudson’s Bay Company 11-million dollars for its territorial holdings in Rupert’s Land and the Northwest Territories. The land included all territories drained by rivers flowing into Hudson Bay (most of today’s Prairie provinces, northern Ontario, northwestern Quebec and portions of the Northwest Territories.) The HBC keeps blocks of land around its trading posts and 1/20 of the fertile belt (2.8 million hectares).
1872- Passengers on the Kansas Pacific protest against the senseless killing of buffalo from railroad cars.
1885- Batoche, Saskatchewan – Metis under Louis Riel defeated by the militia at Batoche during the North West Rebellion. Riel later gives himself up and is charged with treason; executed at Regina Nov. 16th.
1888- Bennett, Colorado- Colorado’s warmest temperature ever recorded is 118 degrees on this date.
1889- Arizona Territory- Major Joseph Washington Wham takes charge of $28,000 in gold and silver to pay troops at various points in the Arizona Territory. While escorting the Army paymaster, two members of the 24th Infantry Regiment took heroic action to fend off a violent robbery attempt by masked cowboys. Sergeant Benjamin Brown and Corporal Isaiah Mays (both black soldiers) received the Congressional Medal of Honor for their bravery. Eight soldiers are wounded and eight of the attackers are arrested.
1941- Jane Hickok McCormick, 68, claims that she is the daughter of Wild Bill Hickok and Calmity Jane.
1858- Texas- a force of 200 Texas Rangers and Tonkawa Indians attack Renegade Comanche chief Iron Shirt and his camp of 65 lodges. Iron Shirt was killed in this battle on the Canadian in the Texas Panhandle. Tonkawa Indian Jim Pockmark was credited with firing the shot that killed Iron Shirt. Iron Shirt got his name because he went into battle protected by a suit of Spanish torso armor.
1865- Palmito Ranch, Texas – the last land battle of the Civil war. It is a Confederate victory.
1869- Ellsworth, Kansas- Outlaw Fitzpatrick is lynched for killing a man he found sleeping in a saloon after hours.
1870- Manitoba [the name means ‘The Great Spirit Speaks’] entered Confederation as a Canadian province.
1872- Wichita, Kansas- Jim Antrim is appointed an assistant marshal. Jim is the brother of William Antrim.
1875- Texas- the James-Younger Gang rob the San Antonio stage near Austin taking $3,000.
1885- Batoche Saskatchewan – Gabriel Dumont (1838-1906) and his Metis warriors run out of ammunition; fire stones and nails before giving up the fight; Dumont flees to the US.
1887- Arizona Territory– the Tombstone Epitaph reports a volcanic eruption and an earthquake in the Dragoon Mountains.
1865- White’s Ranch, Texas- Sergeant Crocker of an all-black Union unit dies and is the last recorded death of the Civil War.
1870- Colorado Territory- around 9 a.m. an Indian attack on a Kansas Pacific Railroad crew near the town of Kit Carson kills eleven and wounds nineteen 500 head of livestock are driven away.
1877- Louisiana- gunman Wild Bill Longley is arrested and taken to Giddings, Texas where he is tried and sentenced to hang for the murder of Roland Lay.
1898- Utah- Wild Bunch member, Joe Walker, was killed with another man by a posse seeking cattle rustlers near Thompson, Utah. When the two bodies were brought in, the entire town of Thompson turned out to cheer, thinking that the other man was Butch Cassidy, but the corpse was that of Johnny Herring, a lesser-known outlaw who bore some resemblance to Butch.
1864- Virginia City, Montana Territory- Boothill is opened after five men are hanged.
1870- Kit Carson, Colorado Territory- an arriving stagecoach reports that thirty have been killed by Indians between there and Lake Station.
1874- California- Tiburcio Vasquez is wounded by George Beers and surrenders when his hideout near Los Angeles is discovered.
1878-New Mexico Territory- Regulators led by Billy the Kid steal 27 horses from a ranch on the Pecos River, near Lincoln.
1934- Winslow, Arizona– Tom Pickett died. Tom hung around Dodge City in the late 1870’s with the Dave Rudabaugh gang. He later was with Billy the Kid’s gang and was with him when the Kid was arrested at Stinking Springs on Dec 27,1880 (Tom was later released). During the 4 year period of WWI he served as a deputy US marshal.
1863- Drum Creek, Kansas- Osage warriors kill Confederate officers.
1872- Wichita, Kansas- the Sante Fe Railroad reaches town.
1872- Nebraska- Buffalo Bill Cody tracks and kills four Indians who committed depredations near North Platte.
1876- Norwegian Jon Torsteinson was born in 1827 and died on this day after a four-day illness. Jon later changed his name to John Thompson. He later became known as Snowshoe Thompson, the intrepid skiing mail carrier of the High Sierras in the late 1856 when he made the run between Placerville, California and Carson City, Nevada on skis (snow shoes had been recommended to him) in three days carrying a sixty pound sack of mail. Snowshoe Thompson continued this for the next twenty years.
1880- Kelly’s Ranch, New Mexico Territory- three settlers are killed by Apaches.
1882- Denver, Colorado– Doc Holliday was arrested at the request of an Arizona peace officer and charged with the murder of Florentine Cruz. The Governor of Colorado refused to release Holliday to Arizona.
1883- Sierra Madres, Mexico- with permission from the Mexican government U.S. troops attack Chato’s camp.
1885- the Northwest Rebellion ended as Metis leader Louis Riel surrendered.
1887- Arkansas City, Kansas- a large funeral is held for Ponca Chief Wasiki.
1870- Colorado Territory- ten workers on the Kansas Pacific Railroad are reported killed by Indians.
1871 – British Columbia — A British order-in-council admitted British Columbia as a province of Canada. The order was effective on July 20. Vancouver Island had been annexed to the colony of British Columbia in 1866 but it became clear that a wider union was necessary to save the united colony from economic disaster. The 12,000 settlers of the new province agreed to join on the condition the federal government built a transcontinental railway linking British Columbia to the east. The CPR was completed in 1885.
1900- Utah- lawman Jesse Tyler brought in stolen cattle and rustlers, and frequently pursued Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch. On this date, Tyler led a posse after cattle rustlers near Thompson, Utah. Thinking they were riding up to an Indian camp, Tyler and deputy Sam Jenkins dismounted, left their horses, and approached unarmed. The camp turned out to be that of the band of rustlers led by Harvey Logan. The lawmen turned to run and Logan opened fire, shooting both men in the back. The rest of the posse fled, abandoning the bodies of Tyler and Jenkins for two days.
1905- Grand Island, Nebraska- actor Henry Fonda is born.
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