1878- Bennett Creek, Idaho- one enlisted man is wounded in fight with Bannock Indians.
1887- Sundance, Wyoming– Harry Longabaugh, aka the Sundance Kid, was convicted of grand larceny.
1944- Actor Sam Elliot was born at Sacramento, CA. You Know My Name (1998), The Hi-Lo Country, Rough Riders (1997), The Ranger, the Cook and a Hole in the Sky, Buffalo Girls (1995), The Desperate Trail, The (1994), Gettysburg (1993), Tombstone (1993), Conagher (1991), The Quick and the Dead (1987), Houston: The Legend of Texas (1986) Shadow Riders, The (1982), The Sacketts (1979), I Will Fight No More Forever (1975), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) (Card Player #2)
1862- Texas- HooDoo Wars- Germans citizens, who were not slave owners, were regarded as such a threat that the entire town of Fredericksburg was placed under martial law and garrisoned by Confederate militiamen. In August of 1862 a band of young men from the Fredericksburg and Comfort area attempted to make their way to Mexico to avoid conscription into Confederate service. They were pursued by a group of Confederate partisans called the Texas Rifles. On this date the fleeing German’s camp near the Nueces River was surrounded and attacked. The d “Battle of Nueces” ended with 32 Germans killed, including 9 wounded who were summarily executed on the spot. Two days later 8 more Germans were shot as they attempted to cross the Rio Grande into Mexico.
1868- Spillman Creek, Kansas- Cheyenne depredations reported.
1869- Fort Buford, Dakota Territory- four settlers are killed by Indians near the fort.
1883– Arizona outlaw Jack Almer, leader of the Red Jack gang that held up the Globe stage on this date, near Riverside. When the Wells Fargo guard insisted that the stage was not carrying any gold, and showed signs of resisting the robbers, a female passenger jumped from the stage, lifting her skirts high and bellowing in a decidedly bass voice that he was a liar. It was Almer, disguised as a female passenger, dark veil and all. In that impossible impersonation Almer had witnessed the gold being placed under a seat on the stage and thus signaled his men to move in when the stagecoach passed a spot where the gang was waiting. The guard went for his gun and Almer reached inside his skirt and pulled his own six-gun, shooting the Wells Fargo man dead. The gang took $2,800 in gold and bills and fled. Sheriff Bob Paul organized a strong posse and hunted the Red Jack gang down one by one. Paul and his men unearthed Almer hiding near Wilcox, Ariz., on Oct. 4, 1883, and shot him to pieces when he tried to battle his way to freedom.
1887- Arizona Territory– Jim Tewksbury was a violent member of the Tewksbury family, who began raising sheep in Pleasant Valley, Ariz., angering the Hash Knife cowboys and the Grahams, a ranching family. Graham offered a $500 reward for the death of one of the sheepherders and $1,000 for the clan leader John Tewksbury, Sr. Outnumbered, the Tewksburys were forced to move their herds from camp to camp. Jim, alerted by his brother, Edwin, killed one of the Hash Knife cowboys when they attempted to ambush the sheepherders. The other cowboys were afraid to move, and their injured companion bled to death. On this date eight cowboys led by Tom Tucker rode to Jim’s cabin, hoping to fight. A shootout ensued in which Jim and his friends killed Hampton Blevins and John Paine, and wounded Tucker, Bob Gillespie, and Bob Carrington. Two weeks after John, Sr., and Bill Jacobs were killed in ambush, the Tewksburys were attacked at dawn by several cowboys. Jim Tewksbury and Jim Roberts, firing from their blankets, killed Harry Middleton and wounded Joe Underwood before driving off the others. Jim Tewksbury died in his cabin in 1888 of consumption.
1935- After a century of continuous service, the Texas Rangers of the frontier years were merged with the State Highway Patrol of Texas.
1860- Virginia City, Nevada Territory- the nation’s first successful silver mill began operation.
1860- Fagan Canyon, Utah Territory- twenty-seven members of the 4th Artillery battle 200 “Gashote and Parran” Indians. One Indian is killed and many wounded.
1865- Nevada Territory- Paiute chief Black Rock Tom is captured and shot by soldiers. Colonel McDermit was killed a few days earlier during a skirmish with chief Black Rock Tom.
1871- Newton, Kansas– lawmen Mike McCluskie and William Wilson, who were assigned to keep order during an election, shoot it out in the streets after arguing who will buy the drinks at the Red Front Saloon. Wilson is gun downed and McCluskie leaves town to avoid Wilson’s pals.
1883-Calgary Alberta- for the first few years after the North-West Mounted Police built Fort Calgary, the settlement was little more than a way station along the stagecoach trail that connected Edmonton with Fort Benton, Montana. In 1882 the Canadian Pacific Railway decided to build its line following the southern route across the Rocky Mountains through the Kicking Horse Pass. Fort Calgary was the only existing settlement along the way, and it was anticipated that it would become the center of the supply industry. Entrepreneurs and speculators pitched their tents around the Fort as the railway slowly crept west across the prairies. Finally, on August 11, 1883, the crowds cheered as the construction train puffed its way into the tiny settlement.
1900- Hugo, Colorado- outlaws John and Jim Jones robbed a Union Pacific train, taking a small amount of money from the baggage car. A large posse pursued the Jones Brothers for hundreds of miles and finally cornered them in a small ranch house. The lawmen and outlaws exchanged fire for several days until officers set fire to the building. Jim Jones, rather than surrender, shot himself inside the burning building. John leaped through the front door, two six-guns blazing. He was riddled by rifle fire and fell dead.
1860- Austin, Texas- Temple Lea Houston (1860-1905), the son of Texas President and governor Sam Houston, was born. He was the first child born in the Governor’s Mansion at Austin. In 1873, at the age of thirteen, he joined a cattle drive to Great Bend, Kansas. Later he worked his way east and was employed as a night clerk on a riverboat. Later he enrolled at Baylor University, where he studied law and philosophy and graduated with honors in 1880. Houston became the youngest practicing lawyer in Texas. Houston won a great reputation as a trial lawyer and as a speaker. He carried a pearl-handled pistol, wore shoulder-length hair, a white sombrero, and rattlesnake ties. Houston moved on to Oklahoma after the territory opened up to settlers. Once, while he was in Enid on business, an unknown assailant fired on him, but a copy of the Oklahoma Territorial Statutes that he was carrying stopped the bullet. Houston incorporated the firing of a six-shooter loaded with blanks into his courtroom theatrics on one occasion. After the jury scattered Houston declared them no longer sequestered. On August 15, 1905, Houston died from a brain hemorrhage at his home in Woodward. Among the several fictional characters inspired by Houston’s life was that of Yancey Cravat in Edna Ferber’s novel Cimarron.
1861- Texas- Apaches attack a band of Confederates, killing 15.
1864- in one of the largest campaigns against the Plains Indians so far, General Alfred Sulley’s party reaches the Yellowstone River about 30 miles from its mouth.
1868- Solomon River, Kansas- Captain Fredrick Benteen of the 7th Cavalry reports that Indians have killed seventeen civilians.
1878- Arizona Territory– John W. Swilling, a suspect in a stage coach robbery and double murder, died in a Yuma jail at age 48 before he could come to trial. Swilling was a rather successful miner in the 1860’s. In 1867 he established a small settlement on the north bank of the Salt River called Stonewall and later renamed Phoenix.
1896- Gold is discovered near Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Canada. After word reaches the United States in June of 1897, thousands of Americans head to the Klondike to seek their fortunes.
1936- Seymour, Texas- the warmest temperature ever recorded in Texas hits 120 degrees.
1859- Utah- the 2nd Dragoons under Lieutenant Ebenezer Gay fight Indians at Devils Gate Canyon, near Box Elder.
1860- Phoebe Annie Oakley Moses, AKA Annie Oakley, was born. She was a sharp shooter who eventually toured with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. She was named “Little Miss Sure Shot” by Chief Sitting Bull.
1866- Skull Valley, Arizona Territory- Federal and Arizona troops battle and kill thirty-three Indians and wounded forty. One enlisted man is reported killed.
1868- Saline River, Kansas- Captain Fredrick Benteen of the 7th Cavalry reports three Indians killed and ten wounded.
1878- New Mexico Territory– Billy the Kid appears at one of John Chisum’s ranches and within a month demands $500 in back wages for his Regulators.
1885- Regina Saskatchewan- Kapeyakwaskonam (One Arrow) tried on a charge of treason and felony; sentenced to three years in jail.
1889- Denver, Colorado- Jennie Rogers, Queen of the Tenderloins, marries Jack Wood. Her “House of Mirrors” is so successful that the Rocky Mountain News reported earlier in the year that a city council meeting had to be canceled for lack of a quorum “because most of the members were attending the opening of a new and more fashionable den of prostitution.”
1896- Montpelier, Idaho- Butch Cassidy led Bob Meeks and Elzy Lay to the Montpelier Bank, which they successfully robbed of $7,165. Butch had scouted this bank some weeks ahead of the robbery, learning that money would be transferred to this bank a few days before he raided it.
1849 – Oregon Territory- the U.S. Congress created the territory made up today’s states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and parts of Montana and Wyoming.
1831- John Xavier Beidler was born. He later became the most zealous vigilante of the West, especially in Montana.
1851- Griffin, Georgia- Doc Holliday is born.
1860- Nevada Territory- Pony Express rider Robert Haslam, AKA Pony Bob, the last in a chain of riders, got honorable mention when he rode his pony into Fort Churchill with the news of Lincoln’s election. Many years later he served as advance agent for Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
1864- Fort Collins, Colorado Territory- the fort is established to guard the Overland trail. It is abandoned in 1867.
1868- Kansas- Indian raids along the Republican and Saline Rivers kill ten settlers.
1877- North-West Territory, Canada– the North-West Territorial Council passed an ordinance “For the Protection of the Buffalo” in an attempt to slow the wanton destruction of the herds. The legislation made it unlawful to drive the buffalo into ravines or pits where they could be easily killed, or to hunt or kill buffalo for amusement, or solely to secure their tongues and pelts. It also provided for a closed season on female buffalo, extending from November 15 until August 14 each year. Unfortunately, the legislation proved ineffective and the slaughter continued.
1880- Tombstone, Arizona Territory- the Tombstone Epitaph reports that’s Virgil and Morgan Earp helped a Fort Grant sheriff locate a rustler, and that the thief surrendered “when a six-shooter was run under his nose by Morgan Earp.”
1890- Prescott, Arizona Territory- a horse thief is dragged into town and killed for helping himself to the local cattle.
1865- Kansas- the United States signs a treaty with Comanches, Kiowas, Arapahos, and Kiowa Apaches at the mouth of the Little Arkansas River.
1873- Ellsworth, Kansas- Both Ben & Billy Thompson were drunk and argued with two gamblers, John Sterling and Jack Morco. Sterling and Morco charged into a saloon, guns blazing at the Thompson’s. Ben Thompson fired several shots and drove them off, but Billy Thompson inexplicably turned his gun on Sheriff Whitney, a friend of the Thompson’s who had been drinking with them at the bar. Billy let loose both barrels from his shotgun, killing Whitney. Ben Thompson shouted at his brother: “My God, Billy! You’ve shot your best friend.” Ben Thompson then ushered his brother outside, put him on a horse, and sent him out of town.
1873- Fort Smith, Arkansas– John Childers became the first man to hang at the new territorial court. Childers was led to the gallows by Marshal Sarber and Deputy Messler. The lawmen offered his life in exchange for information about the other gang members. Childers, however, was no squealer. “Didn’t you say you were going to hang me?” he asked. “Yes,” Sarber replied. “Then, why in hell don’t you!” snapped Childers. Messler released the bolt, dropping Childers through the trap. At that precise moment, a powerful bolt of lightning crashed down on the frame of the gibbet. The rain poured down on the hushed crowd, who truly believed that they had witnessed a supernatural event. An examination of Childers’ body confirmed that he was quite dead, and that spiritual intervention had not saved him as some townspeople had claimed.
1874- Arizona Territory- Chief Desaline reports his Indian scouts killed nine Indians and captured 119 near the San Carlos Agency.
1888- Holbrook, Arizona Territory- after the Pleasant Valley War three people are lynched.
1912- Lawton, Oklahoma- Heck Thomas died from natural causes. Heck was one of three deputies known as the “Three Guardsmen”. At the age of twelve he served as a dispatch rider for the Confederacy. When the Texas Rangers were reactivated in the 1870s he served as a private. In 1880 he was appoint Deputy U.S. Marshal by Marshal Valentine Dell of the Western District of Arkansas. One day in 1881 Heck brought in 32 outlaws from Indian Territory to Judge Parker. Heck served in a variety of law enforcement positions over the years, mostly in Oklahoma. He was one of the deputies who helped shut down the Doolin, Dalton, and Buck gangs. He teamed up with Bill Tilghman to bring Bill Raidley’s career to an end. Heck brought in Ned Christie and closed the file on Bill Doolin.
1935- Point Barrow, Alaska- “Cowboy philosopher” Will Rogers and aviator Wiley Post were killed when their airplane crashed.
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