“Whaddya doin?” The army scouts wanted to know, as Ed Schieffelin led his mule out of the army post at Fort Yuma, Arizona Territory.
“Headin’ out fer some Prospectin,” grumbled Ed, and a soldier hurrumphed. “All yer’ll ever find in them hills,” he said, “is yer tombstone.”
But Ed Schieffelin found silver. Lots of silver. And before it played out the silver mines in the Arizona desert would pay out a billion dollars at today’s value. So, when it came time to stake out a town, to support all the mines and workers there was only one suggestion for a name: Tombstone.
In the years to follow more than 30,000 miners and thieves, gamblers and gunfighters, merchants and shady ladies, swarmed the boom town. Including Wyatt Earp and his brothers, as well as their friend Doc Holliday, and the infamous Cowboys led by Old Man Clanton and Curly Bill Brosius.
The first cowboy to utter these immortal lines was Old Bill Miner. From 1861 – 1911 Cowboy Bill robbed trains and stagecoaches in the American and Canadian West.
In 1906 the old cowboy was sentenced to life. He told the Canadian judge, “No jail can hold me, sir.” Over the next 4 years, Cowboy Bill, escaped 5 times.
Wild Bill Hickok
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.
When Dave Tutt bragged he could, “Shoot a bird on the wing“, in Springfield, in 1865, 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, but what ever it was, this is about the only actual documented face off in a dusty street in Old West History. And so on July 21, 1865, in the town square of Springfield, Missouri, Hickok shot dead Davis Tutt, Jr.
After shooting Jack Straw, a well known bad cowboy, Wild Bill Hickok bought a round for the bar, and the town band struck up a tune. A hastily convened coroner’s jury, took one look at the dead cowboy and asserted, “Served him right, and so we declare.” The Deadman’s Hand
Cowboy Poker (aka Faro)
Cowboys love poker. . . .and the reason old west cowboys called the poker they played, “Faro” was because the most popular playing cards used pictures of Egyptian Pharaohs for the face cards.
In the old west, Faro was much more popular than poker. Easy to play and with the best odds for winning, it was easily the most popular game around. There was hardly a saloon or gaming house in the West without a Faro table between 1825 and 1915 with several well known figures of the time making their riches by playing the game.
The Story-book Marshal
Dodge City was a mecca for gamblers, girls and cowboys. Known as the “Queen of the Cow towns,” the “wickedest little city in America,” and the “beautiful Babylon of the frontier.”
Dodge gave the world two terms. “Boot Hill” has become synonymous with a cemetery, “’cause most cowboys died with their boots on.”
The first “Red Light District” started in Dodge City in 1874. The most popular western brothel in town had a red pane of glass in it’s front door, as a guide to lonesome, drunken cowboys.
“All they raise around Dodge City,” an old cowboy once said, “is cattle and hell.”
Many “law and order” men tried taming the wild west town, but they all got run outta Dodge or shot dead. Then Wyatt Earp showed up with Bat, Jim Masterson and Joe Mason. In short order Earp and is old west marshals, “. . .made quite a dent in cowboy conceit.” Wyatt Earp Cowboy Hat
The Wild Canadian West
Northwest Mounted Policeman: Hey there Potts. What’s over the next hill?
Jerry Potts the 5 foot tall mountain man that the Mounties hired in Fort Benton Montana, to guide them into southern Alberta, mumbled something, and spit out a stream of tobacco juice.
Mountie, louder this time: What was that?
Potts looked up and smiled, I said, a nudder hill!”
In the later part of the 19th century swarms of American Cowboys went north following the shrinking cowboy frontier. And in Southern Alberta the Montana Whiskey Traders established their headquarters and aptly named it Fort Whoop-Up.
The illegal whiskey trade and Fort Whoop-Up were the reasons the Canadian Mounties were formed in 1873. By the time the Mounties found the Whiskey Traders stronghold, it was the late fall of 1874.
When the Mounties pulled up in front of Fort Whoop-Up, Colonel Macleod had the field artillery set up and he and his cowboy scout; Jerry Potts, rode forth. Macleod and Potts stood in front of the forts’ walls and hurrahed the cowboys with their intention to reduce Fort Whoopup to rubble.
Finally Potts rode up to the door and loudly knocked. To their surprise a scraggly bearded Cowboy answered the door. The Cowboy invited the Mounties to join him for supper – seems the Whiskey Traders had no stomach fer a fight and had bailed out a few weeks before. More Old West History
The Slim Jim Holster – the Classic side-arm holster of the early west.
Most men – including Texas Rangers – who could afford a holster would have used this style in the early days of the western frontier. Shown here in Saddle Tan. Holster shown is a left draw and can be worn on the left hip, on the right for a cross draw or on the right for a right handed “Twist” or “Cavalry” or “Hickok” draw. Shown plain – no adornment – in our Saddle Tan color. Our Holsters are Top Quality – made for life-long use. We will custom make to accommodate the make and calibre of your side arm. Other colors available include Deadwood Brown, Black, Antique Brown, and Old Mahogany.
Augustus$310.00–$700.00 Select options
Captain Call$310.00–$700.00 Select options
Samuel Jones Movie Hat$310.00–$700.00 Select options
Sundance Kid Cowboy Hat$310.00–$700.00 Select options
Hickok Old West Cowboy Hat$335.00–$740.00 Select options
Yellowstone Kelly$335.00–$740.00 Select options
Jeb Stuart Hat$325.00–$740.00 Select options
Plainsman Custom Hat$330.00–$740.00 Select options
Westerner Movie Hat$325.00–$710.00 Select options
Pinkerton Custom Town Hat$305.00–$700.00 Select options
The General Custom Handmade Hat$305.00–$700.00 Select options
Boss of the Town Hat$285.00–$660.00 Select options
Have Gun Will Travel Dress Hat$315.00–$710.00 Select options
Cattle Baron Cowboy Hat$305.00–$710.00 Select options
Butch Cassidy Handmade Bowler$305.00–$700.00 Select options
Jolan Custom Handmade Dress Hat$305.00–$700.00 Select options
Virgil Cole Movie Hat$315.00–$710.00 Select options
Pale Preacher Movie Hat$305.00–$710.00 Select options
Tristan Movie Hat$305.00–$710.00 Select options
Alfred Custom Handmade Hat$305.00–$710.00 Select options