Clay Allison was a hard-drinking, prankster of the type who becomes a legend in his own time. During his lifetime, Allison only killed four people.  But the stories about him that didn’t involve killing are as entertainiClay Allisonng as those that did.

There’s the story of Clay Allison looking up gunman Mace Bowman with the object of killing him.  But, Bowman was a congenial person, and the two men ended up getting drunk together.  Still curious about who was the fastest, they decided to test each other’s speed with some fast draws. Allison found that Bowman was faster than he was.  So, Allison suggested they strip to underwear, and shoot at each other’s bare feet to see who could move faster.  They were either poor shots or fleet of feet, because a short time later the two men, out of breath, bellied up to the bar for another drink.

Then, there was the time on August 15, 1874, when Allison arrived in Cheyenne, Wyoming with a raging toothache.  Now, Cheyenne had two dentists.  So, Allison chose the closest one and climbed in his chair.  Unfortunately the dentist drilled the wrong tooth.  When the dentist announced his mistake, Allison angrily jumped out of the chair, and went over to the other dentist’s office.  The other dentist took care of the problem.

With his pain gone, Allison returned to the first dentist, and pinned the dentist in his chair.  Grabbing the dentist’s forceps, and proceeded to pull, according to different stories, one, three or all of the dentist’s teeth.  I can assure you that dentist never drilled on the wrong tooth again.

Filed under: Old West History

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