Carry Moore, the subject of today’s story was the only woman to be challenged by famous boxer John L. Sullivan, and accept that challenge.  The outcome of that confrontation is interesting.

 John L. SullivanOn November 21, 1867 Carry Amelia Moore married Dr. Charlie Gloyd.  The marriage didn’t start out well, because the groom arrived drunk.  And it seems he stayed drunk most of their marriage, which, incidentally, only lasted a year and a half.  However this failed marriage ended up affecting a large portion of the population of this country.

After the death of Dr. Gloyd, Carry Gloyd married a David Nation.  Although David neither drank nor smoked, Carry found he had his share of problems, and he and Carry had a rocky marriage, with a number of separations.

By now Carrie Nation decided that a number of activities that men participated in were not good, including membership in the Masonic Order, sex, and especially strong drink.  Even though Kansas was a dry state, there were a number of bootleg outlets.  And Carrie took it on herself to “harass these dive-keepers.”  The first place she attacked was actually a drug store, where she destroyed a barrel of “medicinal” whiskey.

Getting rid of her second husband, Carry was now free to spread her word beyond Kansas.  She traveled the nation lecturing and destroying.  When Carry was lecturing in New York, boxing champion John L. Sullivan, the owner of a beer joint said that if she ever entered his place he would “push her down the sewer.”  Taking up the challenge Carry went to his place, and chased Sullivan into hiding in the men’s room where Carry refused to follow.  A sign in another New York bar read, “All Nations Welcome Except Carry!”

Although Carry Nation was not able to see the ultimate fruit of her work, in 1919, just 8 years after her death, Prohibition became the law across the nation.


PrinterWith frontier towns springing up over night, and disappearing as fast, an Old West newspaper had to be on the move to keep customers. This week’s story is about one such newspaper.

Following the Civil War two brothers, Legh and Fred Freeman, were hired to publish a newspaper out of Fort Kearney, Nebraska.  During this time the railroad passed through the area.  While the railroad was being built in the area things boomed.  As the railroad moved on, taking the workers with it, there was a bust.

 The Freeman brothers hit on the idea to create a newspaper that would move along with the railroad.  So, they bought a hand press, type, ink and paper, named their newspaper the Frontier Index, and hired wagons to take them to the next town where the railroad was to arrive.  As the crews arrived with men anxious to read the latest news, they did a booming business.  Merchants were willing to pay outrageous prices for advertising, and marked their goods up accordingly.

The masthead of the Index changed each time they moved to a new town.  During its existence the Index was published in 25 different cities.  Sometimes the Freeman brothers moved so fast that they outran their supplies.  One time they had to print the newspaper on wrapping paper.

 The Index came to an end in Bear River City.  As the population of the city grew, the lawless element started arriving along with the railroad workers.  The Index wrote an editorial stating, “Bear River City has stood enough of the rowdy criminal element.”  The next day, November 15, 1868, some of “the rowdy criminal element” grabbed a rope, and headed to the tent that headquartered the Index newspaper.  The Freeman brothers were able to escape, but when they returned nothing remained of the Index but ashes.  The lifespan of the Frontier Index was but two years.  Which, incidentally, was a long time for a frontier newspaper.

Death of Ned Christie

Ned ChristieMore firepower was used to kill the subject of today’s story that any other single man in the Old West. When you’re finished I think you’ll agree.

            Ned Christie was a well-respected member of the Cherokee National Council. But he enjoyed his drink. And in May of 1887, after one such drinking spree, he was accused of killing Marshal Dan Maples. Ned protested his innocence. But, realizing he was getting nowhere, lit out on the run.

For about 6 years Christie was on the lamb. With the exception of one close call, the law just couldn’t catch him.

During this time virtually every crime that took place in the Indian Territory was blamed on him. Dime novels built his reputation to that of the most vicious man to ever raise a gun in the Indian Territory. He was reputed to have engaged in everything from peddling whiskey, to horse thievery and banditry. In the process, he was reputed to have killed as many as 11 people.

With a reward of $1,000 on his head, it was only a matter of time until someone collected it. And it happened on November 3, 1892. Marshal Heck Thomas trailed Christie to a log fort that he had built. Realizing the place was almost impregnable, Thomas sent for reinforcements. As well as plenty of ammunition, the reinforcements also brought along a three-pound field cannon.

During the assault more than 2,000 small-arm rounds were fired. They also shot 38 cannon balls. But they just bounced off. A heaver charge was used. It only succeeded in blowing up the cannon. Finally a dozen sticks of dynamite were placed next to the house. This did the trick.

With black smoke enveloping the area, Ned Christie came out of the house firing his rifle. The deputies returned fire, riddling Christie’s body. It may have taken as much armament as used in a major battle, but the law got their man.


ATobinAs we all know, if someone kills a lawman, he’ll draw the attention of lawmen everywhere until he’s caught.  In the Old West the same was true of ministers.  And, that ain’t good.

 Reverend F. J. Tolby was a Methodist circuit minister, who, in September of 1875, was traveling between Elizabeth and Cimarron in the New MexicoTerritory when he was waylaid and killed.  Suspicion fell upon a mail carrier by the name of Cruz Vega.  Cruz was arrested, and later, because of the lack of evidence, released

Friend and fellow minister, O. P. Mains was sure Cruz was the villain.  So, he persuaded Clay Allison to talk to Cruz about the murder.  You may remember Clay Allison being the subject of a couple of earlier stories.  If not, just let me say that Allison was a maniacal killer.  Using his own special method of persuasion, Allison was able to get Cruz to spill his guts.  In the spilling, Cruz indicated that a Manuel Cardenas actually did the killing.

But, Allison and friends wanted someone to pay for the killing of Reverend Tolby, and unfortunately, Cardenas wasn’t around.  So, on October 30, they decided to hang Cruz Vega.  But, Clay Allison was a companionate person.  So, while Cruz was choking to death, Allison shot him in the back, according to Allison “to put the poor Mexican out of his misery.”  And even though Allison wasn’t a religious man, he evidently felt it was important to show people that no one should mess with a man of the cloth, so Allison cut Cruz down from the tree and drug him through town.

Manuel Cardenas was arrested and about ten days later vigilantes shot him to death.

I wonder if the following Sunday’s sermon of Reverend O. P. Mains, the man who started the killing spree, was on the sixth commandment.


JuanHunters are known to tree a mountain lion or a bear now and then, but in 1859, a gang of thugs treed a whole town. That’s right, a whole town.

It was the mid 1800’s. Anglos from other parts of the United States were coming to Texas in groves, and taking over land previously owned by Mexicans.

Juan Cortina, saw his family’s land holdings shrink. When he became a man, Juan put together a gang of disgruntled Mexicans and started taking back some of the land. In mid September of 1859 one of Juan’s men was arrested in Brownsville, Texas. Juan and his men shot the Marshal and freed the gang member. This, of course, infuriated the citizens of Brownsville. For days they talked about putting together a posse and getting revenge. But it seems that talk was all they were want to do.

Juan Cortina, on the other hand, wanted action, and getting tired of waiting for the posse to come after him, on September 27 he led a thousand cutthroats into Brownsville, captured Fort Brown, and took over the town. After killing anyone who had previously caused him grief, Juan demanded one hundred thousand dollars in gold or he would burn down the town.
News of the Brownsville situation got out and a contingency of men came to the rescue. Unfortunately, for them, news of what Cortina was doing also reached his friends and his gang had grown to a much larger size. After defeating the relief column, Cortina went after Edinburg, Texas and then took on Rio Grande.

Cortina then wisely retreated back to Mexico where for 15 years he made raids across the border. Finally in 1875, the Texas Rangers decided to put an end to Juan Cortina’s shenanigans, and went down to Mexico and kicked his butt. From then on Juan stayed south of the border and played politics there.


Beecher's IslandThe summer of 1868, Indians were conducting major raids on railroad work camps and homesteads. Major George Forsyth was ordered to put together a detachment of 50 volunteer frontiersmen to teach the Indians a lesson.

The first part of September they arrived at Kansas’ Fort Wallace, and immediately took after a group of Indians who had stolen some stock. On September 16, Forsyth and his men, low on rations, camped on the banks of the Arikaree River.

Unknown to Forsyth 4,000, Cheyenne, Arapaho and Sioux had been following him for three days. The morning of September 17 Major Forsyth and his men were awaken by the sounds of war cries. The 50 volunteers, with their animals, retreated and dug into a 40-yard by 150-yard sandbar.

By 9 A.M. the Indians had killed all of the volunteers’ horses and mules. Now there was no way of escape. A half hour later 300-mounted warriors, headed directly for the 50 volunteers. But, what the Indians didn’t realize was that all of Forsyth’s men were equipped with Spencer seven-shot repeating rifles and Colt pistols. Waiting until the last second to start firing, the charge was broken.

For eight days the Indian attacks continued, and the Spencer rifles kept them away from the volunteers. Two of the volunteers were able to get away and make it to Fort Wallace for help. By the time reinforcements arrived, the bulk of the Indians had left, with only a small contingency staying to starve out the volunteers.

Technology had made it possible for 50 men to face and essentially defeat a force of 1,500 warriors. During the battle, 10 of the volunteers were killed, and 20 wounded. But Indian causalities were estimated to be around 50 killed and as many as 200 wounded.


In the Old West it seemed necessary to have the appropriate name before a person could make a reputation.  That sure was true witCrowford Goldsbyh a man named Crawford Goldsby.

If someone came into a bank in the Old West and announced, “I’m Crawford Goldsby, and this is a hold-up,” the teller would probably have laughed.  That’s why you’ve never heard of outlaw Crawford Goldsby.

Crawford was born in 1876.  His mother was a combination of black, Cherokee and white.  His father was white, Mexican and Sioux.  At the age of 16 Crawford had a dispute with a man who proceeded to whip him.  He got a gun and shot him.  Although it wasn’t fatal, Crawford hightailed it to the Indian Territory.

Next, Crawford came up with a name with a little more pizzazz.  He became “Cherokee Bill.”  Now he could build a reputation.  And he wasted no time doing it.

On June 26, 1894 Cherokee Bill killed his first man…a posse member that was chasing him.  His sister’s husband had beaten her.  Shortly afterward, the brother-in-law was dead.  Next a railroad agent was killed in a holdup.  A railroad conductor was killed when he tried to throw Cherokee off a train.  And then a bystander was shot during another holdup.

Cherokee Bill was finally arrested, brought before Hanging Judge Parker, convicted, and sentenced to hang.

Cherokee Bill walked up the 12 steps to the hangman’s noose.  When he got to the top he looked at the crowd, smiled and said, “Look at the people.  Something must be going to happen.”  When asked if he had anything to say, he replied, “I came here to die, not to make a speech.”

He died at the age of 20, after killing almost 13 people in just two years…An obvious result of changing his name from Crawford Goldsby to Cherokee Bill.


Often things moved fast in the Old West.  Today’s hero is sometimes tomorrow’s bum.  Or, in Caldwell, Kansas toGeorge Flattday’s hero is tomorrow’s dead bum.

Born in Tennessee, George Flatt, went out to Caldwell, Kansas.  George had a bit of a stubborn streak that came out in July of 1879.  After more than a few drinks, a couple of cowboys in the Occidental Saloon started shooting their pistols.  Constable Kelly and a posse that included George Flatt came to take care of the problem.  The posse cautiously entered the saloon, and saw the two cowboys with their guns pointed at them.  The cowboys started for the door.  But Flatt stepped forward and blocked the door.  Carrying two guns, the cowboys demanded that he drop them.  Flatt responded, “I’ll die first.”  A shot from one of the cowboys whizzed past Flatt’s head.  Flatt went into action.  Each gun took out a cowboy.

Things moved fast in Caldwell.  In a matter of weeks, George Flatt advanced from posse member to the city’s first marshal.  And capitalizing on his new found fame he went into partnership with William Horseman operating a saloon.

But many times as fast as things go well, just as fast they turn bad.  Flatt was a heavy drinker.  And within a year not only had his partnership with Horseman fallen apart, but Horseman had even replaced him as city marshal.

Then on Saturday evening, June 19, 1880 after spending some time drinking in the bars, George Flat headed for home.  From the dark a rifle shot rang out.  It hit Flatt in the skull.  Once he was down, three more slugs filled his body.  Yes, things moved fast in Caldwell, Kansas…From a marshal and businessman to a dead drunk laying face down in the dirt in less than a year.


Seminole-NegroOn April 8, 1875 four soldiers encountered 30 Comanche.  Three of those four soldiers received the Congressional Metal of Honor.  This was but one escapade in the life of a most unusual group of soldiers.

During the 1870’s there was a small group of men who guarded the Texas–Mexico border against Comanche Indians.  These men were the Seminole-Negroes.  They were runaway slaves who had gone to Florida and lived with the Seminole Indians. When the Seminole were chased west, the black families went with them.

In 1870, looking for extra help in fighting the marauding Comanche, the Seminole-Negroes were hired as a special unit to track down the Comanche Indians.  Although the Seminole-Negroes were a rag-tag looking bunch with a combination of military and Indian attire, which even included war bonnets, they had the ability to follow trails that were weeks old and live on nothing but rattlesnakes.

The commander of this group was a white Lieutenant by the name of John Bullis.  Lieutenant Bullis had the respect of the Seminole-Negroes, because he was willing to live and fight right along side of his men.  One time while on a patrol Lieutenant Bullis and three of his enlisted men encountered some 30 Comanche.  Being vastly outnumbered, the soldiers retreated.  Unfortunately, in the process Lieutenant Bullis was captured.  Not willing to leave their commander behind; the men changed into the midst of the Comanche, rescuing Lieutenant Bullis.  Each enlisted man received the Congressional Metal of Honor.

For their service, the government had promised the Seminole-Negroes land, but, mysteriously, when it came time to pay up, the War Department had run out of land.  But, living up to their commitment, and ever hopeful, they stayed on until their job was done.

Incidentally, as an indication of their skill as scouts and fighters, during the service of the Seminole-Negroes, not one was ever killed or injured in battle.


1881 wasn’t a good time for the Earps with the O. K. Corral shootout in which Virgil and Morgan were seriously shot.  And then later Virgil was shot again.  It was hoped that 1882 would be a better year.  But it wasn’t.Morgan Earp

Morgan Earp was the youngest of the three Earps who participated in the O. K. Corral shootout.  He was also the friendliest of the clanish Earps who were not known for having a smile on their face.

For a while in Tombstone, Morgan was a shotgun guard for Wells Fargo.  But realizing dealing faro was more profitable and less dangerous, he got a job at the Occidental Saloon.

During the O. K. Corral incident Morgan was seriously shot through the right shoulder.  Over the next few months he healed to the point that by the following March he could participate in his favorite activity, billiards.

It was March 18, 1882. Morgan and Wyatt had just attended a play.  Afterward they went to Hatch’s Saloon so Morgan could play a game of billiards with owner Bob Hatch.  As Morgan was chalking up his cue, two 45-caliber gunshots blasted through the saloon window.  The first shot hit Morgan.  The other barely missed Wyatt…Quite possibly both Morgan and Wyatt were both marked for assassination.  But, as was the story throughout Wyatt’s life, the second bullet missed.

When the smoke cleared Morgan was on the ground in a pool of blood.  The 45 had shattered Morgan’s spine.  The doctors said there was no hope.  With brothers Wyatt, Virgil, James and Warren by his side, Morgan said, “This is the last game of pool I’ll ever play.”  Then he whispered something to Wyatt.  Morgan was dead in less than an hour from the time he was shot.

Later Morgan was dressed in one of Doc Holliday’s suits and brother Virgil took him to Colton, California to be buried where his parents lived.

 Page 1 of 21  1  2  3  4  5 » ...  Last » 

Bad Behavior has blocked 1550 access attempts in the last 7 days.