1867- Fort Larned Kansas- General Hancock tells Cheyenne Indians to abide by the treaty of 1865 and stay on their lands south of the Arkansas River, or risk war.
1872- Columbia, Kentucky- Jesse James gang robs bank (1 dead/$1,500).
1883- California– Black Bart robs the Lakeport-Cloverdale stage again, this time about 5 miles from Cloverdale.
1888- Oklahoma Territory- John Billee and Thomas Willis robbed and murdered W.P. Williams and buried his body in a ravine in the Kiamichi Mountains on this date. John Billee and Thomas Willis were later apprehended by three deputies, Will Ayers, James Wilkerson, and Perry DuVall. While en route back to Fort Smith for trial, the three lawmen and the two prisoners bedded down in a deserted cabin near Muskogee, Oklahoma. During the night, Billee managed to free one hand from the handcuffs which bound him to one of the deputies and reached for the deputy’s gun. He shot Ayers, DuVall, and Wilkerson, wounding them, but Wilkerson managed to wound the outlaw before Billee made good his escape. All three wounded deputies, embarrassed at being jumped, were publicly denounced when they delivered their prisoners to Fort Smith. Billee and Willis were convicted of murder and sentenced to death. After several legal delays, they were both hanged at Fort Smith on Jan. 16, 1890.
1889- New York, New York- Buffalo Bill’s Wild West leaves for a tour of France.
1860 – Sacramento, California- the first Pony Express rider, Tom Hamilton, arrives after leaving St. Joseph, Missouri. The riders covered 1,966 miles in 11 days.
1866- Beaver, Utah– Robert LeRoy Parker (1866-c.1908), AKA: Butch Cassidy, George Cassidy; William T. Phillips; Ingerfield; Lowe Maxwell, was born. Cassidy was one of ten children and had no formal education. Cassidy became a cowboy while still in his teens when he met outlaw Mike Cassidy, adopting Cassidy’s name after he joined him in rustling cattle in Utah and Colorado. Cassidy taught Butch how to shoot so that he was able to hit a playing card dead center at fifty paces and his draw was much faster than historians later described. Mike Cassidy led a small band of robbers and rustlers but, after having shot a Wyoming rancher, he disappeared. Butch Cassidy took over the gang. He later became the leader of the famed Wild Bunch. Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch members were the last of the old time western bank and train robbers, a motley group of outlaws with distinctive personalities and a flair for the flamboyant. Cassidy was no mean-minded desperado but a fun-loving, easy-going bandit who preferred to use his brains rather than his six-gun. He was backed up in most of his gunplay by the lightning fast-draw artist, the Sundance Kid. His gang members included Will Carver, addicted to reading press notices about the gang; Ben Kilpatrick, the towering bandit known as the Tall Texan; and the most deadly of the group, Harvey Logan, who was also known as Kid Curry, a dead-eyed killer who vowed he would never be taken alive by the law and kept his word.
1860- San Francisco, California- the first Pony Express rider arrives with mail originating in St. Joseph, Missouri.
1873- Kansas, Nebraska and southern Dakota Territory- the “Easter Blizzard” a three-day storm kills many settlers.
1874- Colorado Territory- Alferd Packer, the lone survivor of the Alferd Packer party makes it to the Los Pinos Indian Agency, near Sagauche, sixty-six days after leaving Chief Ouray’s camp in search of gold. Packer told a story of men quarreling and killing each other and of eating human flesh to survive.
1884- El Paso, Texas- Bob Cahill killed outlaw Buck Linn. Linn was intent on killing Cahill because he had been misinformed that Cahill had just killed his pard, Bill Raynard a few minutes previously. Cahill, who was not a gunman, quickly received word that Linn was on his way to avenge his partner and was given a .45 Colt by friend Dan Tipton. Wyatt Earp, who was there also, instructed the nervous Cahill to take his time and aim for the belly. The advice was good. Linn came crashing into the gambling hall firing four poorly aimed shots. Cahill’s first shot went through Linns stomach and shattered his spinal column and the second lodged in Linn’s heart.
1859- New Mexico Territory (present day Arizona)- on the Colorado River work begins on Camp Colorado, which is to assist emigrants en route to California. The name changes in a week to Fort Mojave.
1862- New Mexico Territory (present day Arizona)– the westernmost battle of the Civil War takes place, the Battle of Peralta. At Picacho Pass an advance unit of the California Column from Yuma defeats a Confederate detachment of Texans. Upon learning of the battle, Confederate troops retreat from Tucson. Editor’s note: To call the event a “battle” is a stretch of the imagination. It was more of a skirmish–if that. The Compendium of War Records (the official Civil War records) only mention the engagement in passing. It has no official listing in the CWR.
1869- the Supreme Court, in Texas v. White, rules that secession from the Union is unconstitutional.
1871- Abilene, Kansas- James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok replaced Tom Smith as Marshal. His salary was $150 a month.
1877- Arizona Territory- Captain William Hancock files the first claim under the Desert Land Act.
1879- New Mexico Territory- John Chisum recommends Pat Garrett to Governor Lew Wallace to take care of the bunch running east of Fort Sumner.
1881- El Paso, Texas– the Battle of Keating’s Saloon- the Manning Brothers had stolen a huge herd of cattle in Mexico and had driven the cattle into Texas to sell. Texas Ranger Ed Fitch and two Mexican officers named Sanchez and Juarique investigated the cattle raid. The two Mexicans, searching for the stolen herd, were shot and killed from ambush near the Manning ranch. This provoked a huge Mexican posse of more than seventy -five men to cross into Texas seeking revenge.
The Mexicans demanded an inquest for the deaths of Sanchez and Juarique. The inquest was held on Apr. 15, 1881, with constable Gus Krempkau acting as interpreter. Krempkau, at noon that day, left the courtroom in El Paso and went to Keating’s Saloon, where he obtained a rifle, even though no firearms were allowed in court. As Krempkau went through the swinging doors of the saloon he was accosted by cowboy George Campbell, a friend of the Manning’s.
Dallas Stoudenmire, one of the most feared lawmen of the era, a fast-drawing peace officer who took no insults from anyone, was at that moment eating a bowl of stew in the Globe Restaurant. Meanwhile, Krempkau ignored Campbell’s remarks. He walked to his horse and slipped the rifle into a holster. Campbell continued berating him, shouting: “Any American who befriends Mexicans should be hanged!”
John Hale, a drunken bully and friend of Campbell’s, rushed to Krempkau and jammed a six-gun into Krempkau’s chest then shot the lawmen in the lungs. Hale ran behind a post in front of the saloon just as Marshal Stoudenmire appeared with two six-guns in his hands
Stoudenmire saw Hale trying to hide behind the post. He fired two shots on the run. The first wounded a man emerging from the saloon, the second struck Hale in the center of his forehead, killing him instantly. Krempkau with his last ounce of strength pulled his six-gun and fired all six shots from a prone position, striking Campbell in the wrist and toe. Krempkau then fell against the steps of the saloon, dead. Campbell, whose six-gun had been shot out of his hand, picked up the weapon with his uninjured hand and sent a slug into the already dead Krempkau. Stoudenmire then pumped three bullets into Campbell.
1885- Fort Pitt Saskatchewan – Northwest Mount Police Inspector Francis Jeffrey Dickens (1844-1886) abandons Fort Pitt and withdraws to Battleford after white settlers decide to surrender to Big Bear during the North West Rebellion; he is the third son of novelist Charles Dickens.
1889- Oklahoma Territory- a marshal’s posse kills and captures a group of Sooners, settlers who stole onto the Public Domain territory in Oklahoma in hopes of claiming it legally, just nine days before the official start of the land rush.
1856- Victoria BC – James Douglas (1803-1877) declares all gold found in BC to be the property of the Crown.
1864- Montana Territory- Tom Harris begins planting near Fort Owen and becomes Montana first fulltime farmer.
1871- Abilene, Kansas– the Union Pacific Railroad prepared to load and ship four trainloads of cattle a day as some 90,000 head of cattle are being driven from Texas.
1874- Ottawa Ontario – Louis Riel (1844-1885) was expelled from the House of Commons as a fugitive, since there was a warrant for his arrest in Ontario for the shooting of Thomas Scott in Red River.
1881- Dodge City, Kansas- the “Battle of the Plaza” takes place as Bat Masterson returns from Tombstone to help his brother Jim in business dealings. As Bat steps off the train he sees two men who are believed to be causing problems for Jim and begins to fire. Al Updegraffe is killed. After paying an $8 fine Bat and Jim leave for Colorado.
1882- Trinidad, Colorado- John Allen shoots it out with Cockeyed Frank Loving. The fight starts at the Imperial watering hole and ends at Hammond’s Hardware Store. Allen killed Cockeyed Frank.
1884- Columbus, Ohio- touring with the Sells Brothers Circus, Annie Oakley is billed as a markswoman for the first time.
1862- Utah- the Holladay Overland Mail wagon train near Split Rock station is attacked by 30 Indians. Six of Nine people in the train are wounded in a four-hour battle. The Indians partially destroy two wagons and make off with nine mules.
1865- Virginia City, Montana Territory- “bread riots” occur due to flour shortages.
1878- New Mexico Territory- J.P. Tunstall offers a $5,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of his son’s murderer.
1878- Texas-in Indian raids near Fort Quitman, San Ygnacio, Steele’s ranch, and Brown’s ranch, four civilians are reported killed.
1884- Huntsville, Alabama– Frank James was brought to Huntsville to stand trial for the Muscle Shoals paymaster robbery of March 11, 1881. Represented by four of the South’s best attorneys — Pope Walker, Richard Walker, R.S. Sloan, and James Newman — Frank was found not guilty, although seven of the twenty witnesses had positively identified him as being one of the three robbers.
1900- Thompson, Utah- George Curry, George, AKA Flat Nose; Big Nose, (1871-1900). At the age of fifteen, Curry moved west and became a stock thief. After a horse kicked him in the nose he became known as “Flat Nose.” Curry rode with the Wild Bunch for several years during the late 1890s. In October 1897, Curry, the Sundance Kid, and Harvey Logan rode into southern Montana where they planned to hold up a train. Their plan was thwarted by “Six -Shooter” Bill Smith and an ambitious bounty hunter. Curry and the Kid were arrested and taken to the Deadwood jail, but managed to escape. They returned to Nevada and spent the next few months breaking horses for local ranchers. In 1899 Curry held up a train at Wilcox Siding. A posse led by sheriffs Jesse Tyler and William Preece trailed Curry all the way to Castle Gate, Utah, where, on Apr. 17, 1900, they trapped him on a ranch. Curry ran for six miles, before he was hit in the head with a bullet from a long-range rifle. Before Curry’s body was dumped into a common grave at Thompson, Utah, souvenir hunters ripped away portions of his skin.
1847- U.S. forces defeat Mexicans at Cerro Gordo in one of the bloodiest battle of the war.
1859- Fort Leavenworth- a stage for the Leavenworth and Pikes Peak Express Company makes a trial run to the goldfields in the westernmost part of Kansas Territory (Colorado).
1860- Camp Cady, present day Arizona- three soldiers are wounded and two Indians are killed in a fight between soldiers and Paiutes on the Mojave River.
1861- Fort Defiance, New Mexico Territory (present day Arizona)- the fort is abandoned.
1872- Leavenworth, Kansas- a crowd of 30,000 celebrates the completion of a bridge across the Missouri River.
1875- Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory- Rain in the Face escapes the guardhouse with the help of a jailer. He said, “The old soldier taught me some of the white people have hearts”. Some believed that George Custer arranged the escape to avoid a trial for which he had little evidence.
1878- New Mexico Territory- a Lincoln County grand jury exonerates A.A. McSween for the death of John Tunstall, but hands down indictments against Jesse Evans, J.J. Dolan, and Billy Matthews for murdering Tunstall; and against William Bonney, Fred Waite, Henry Brown, and John Middleton for the deaths of Sheriff Brady and George Hindman. Charlie Bowdrie is indicted for the killing of Buckshot Roberts.
1881- Fort Keogh, Montana- 156 Sioux surrender
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