Old West Myth & Fact Archives
Harvey Gleason was over six feet tall. He had a shabby beard, ruddy face with flaming red hair and black eyes. By his mid 40s, he had supposedly killed several soldiers and deputy marshals.
But, people didn’t know him as Harvey Gleason, everyone knew him as Teton Jackson. He got his name from his favorite area, the Teton Mountains. For a living Teton Jackson stole horses… Not one or two at a time, but hundreds. For about eight years, Teton and his men stole horses during the summer and hid out among the Teton Mountains during the winter.
Levi Richardson was a buffalo hunter who, because of the lack of buffalo, had become a freighter. He was a well-liked, hard working individual who was known for his proficiency with a pistol and rifle… As well as a quick temper.
She returned to Colorado and worked for Bob Ford, the person who shot Jessie James… That is, until Ed Kelly killed him.
Men who came out west gambled everything on the hopes of becoming prosperous and having a good life. That same spirit led them into gambling halls, and games of chance. One such game started on June 15, 1853 and ended 24 years later.
For people of the Old West gambling was a way of life. They risked their life by going into Indian Territory for furs, precious metal or land. They staked everything they owned on a herd of cattle being driven north. And for sure they enjoyed a game of chance.
There was faro, euchre, monte, casino, and, of course, poker…which, incidentally, was always dealt to the left of the player to make it easier to pull a gun with the right hand in case of irregularities. The origin of most games of chance came from Europe, with the exception of the old three walnuts and a pea, which started in America, probably on the streets of New York, where it still prospers.
Not only did cowboys loose their wages, but whole herds of cattle, and a cattleman’s entire wealth would change hands over night. A few wives were even offered to “match the pot.”
On June 15, 1853, in Austin, Texas Major Danelson and Mr. Morgan sat down to play poker, and evidentially with little to go home to, forgot to quit. The game went on for a week… then a month… a year became years. The Civil War broke out, was fought and lost, but these two Texas gentlemen still dealt the cards. Finally in 1872, 19 years after it started, both men died on the same day…but the game continued. Their two sons took over, and played for 5 more years.
Finally the game ended in 1877 when a railroad train killed one of the sons, and the other went crazy. Not that all of them weren’t crazy in the first place.