Wild Bill Hickok
Hickok Old West Cowboy Hat – Bill Hickok was larger than life and he liked his hats the same way – this is our best guess on what Wild Bill was wearing in this picture.
We start with an over sized hat body to make this classic western hat, with a short crown and wide brim. Brim’s worked different – but essentially the same hat worn by Wild Bill on HBO’s Deadwood.
The prototype of the old west pistol fighter, Bill Hickok had the size, the sad eyes and the heroic exploits to make an impression on most any body. Just weeks after the end of the Civil War, Wild Bill took the train to the end of the tracks in Springfield, Missouri.
When confederate Dave Tutt bragged he could, “Shoot a bird on the wing“, in Springfield, in 1865, former Union soldier, Bill Hickok was quick to reply, “Did the crow have a pistol? Was he shooting back? I will be.“
There’s a number of reasons people say Hickok and Tutt fought. They were both wooing the prettiest girl in town, their political sympathies were at odds, but it came down to a pocket watch. Hickok and Tutt had been playing poker and Bill lost a big pot to the loud mouthed Tutt. His pocket watch had been part of the bet, and Dave insisted that he hold it against the debt of 25 dollars.
Wild Bill wasn’t happy, but he allowed it with the warning, “Don’t let me see you on the street with my watch, Dave.”
The next morning the streets were lined with the curious as Dave Tutt and a couple of his cronies were strolling down Main Street, with Dave flaunting Hickok’s pocket watch. Seventy-five yards away Wild Bill walked out to the street and threw down the gauntlet.
“Don’t you cross the square with my watch Dave!”
By way of an answer Tutt pulled his pistol and fired, as Hickok did the same. Tutt missed. Wild Bill didn’t. From that incredible distance, shooting with a cap and ball pistol, Hickok hit Dave Tutt in the heart, dropping him dead. Hickok then strode down the street and reclaimed his coveted pocket watch, admonishing the crowd with, “Are you satisfied!”
American Heroes Channel (AHC) has a wonderful series of docudrama’s called the Gunslingers, and the actor playing Wild Bill maybe the best we have ever seen.