Zwing Hunt was a minor character in the Old West. But his story is one that has been repeated many times over. Zwing was born in 1858 in Texas. He grew up to be an honest young man. According to one report he was generous to a fault and brave. It was also said that he was a child of circumstances and a creature of excitement.
At the age of 22 he came to Tombstone, Arizona where he palled up with a ne’er-do-well named Billy Grounds. With the excitement of Tombstone’s low life tugging at his shirttails, he started hanging around the Clanton Gang that comprised the likes of Curly Bill Brocius and Johnnie Ringo.
After pulling a job or two with the Clantons, Zwing and his friend Billy Grounds decided they could do the same on their own. One evening in the early spring of 1882 the two of them entered the Tombstone Mill & Mining Company with robbery on their minds. In the ensuing excitement they killed a man.
A warrant was issued for their arrest; a posse was assembled; and the chase was on. In a shootout Billy Grounds and a member of the posse were killed, and Zwing Hunt was shot in the lung.
Zwing was taken to the Tombstone hospital where about 3 weeks later, his brother smuggled him out. This is where the story gets interesting. Supposedly, on May 31, 1882 while Zwing and his brother were hiding out, a band of Indians attacked them and killed Zwing. After chasing off the Indians, his brother supposedly buried Zwing in the Chiricahua Mountains. But, the Zwing Hunt legend also says that he wasn’t really killed; that the prodigal son returned to Texas to live a full life.
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