In one of the interviews gone wrong in the Elbows on the Table series, Lee Weston detests being called a gunslinger due to the bad reputation gunslingers carry in the Old West. Lee Weston himself was a branded outlaw but, he asserts, not due to his own doing. He was framed and nearly lynched by an angry mob in the old western town of Pecos which he once called home.

Elbows on the Table is a different kind of talk show. This very funny interview which which has gone wrong is hilarious and is conducted with a character from the book Branded Outlaw by L. Ron Hubbard in the Golden Age Stories series. For more information on who Suicide Lee Weston was (he asserts he is not a gunslinger but a cowboy), click HERE.

The Masterson – Peacock Shootout

From 1879 to 1881 James Masterson, Bat Masterson’s older brother, was the marshal of Dodge City. However, on April 6, 1881, because of a change in city government, James was dismissed. However, this wasn’t James’ only income. He owned a piece of the Lady Gay Saloon. His partner was an A. J. Peacock. Now, theirs wasn’t the most cordial partnership. Peacock had hired his brother-in-law, Al Updegraph as bartender, and James didn’t like it. On April 9, the dislike turned to gunshots between James, Peacock and Updegraph. In this Masterson – Peacock shootout no shots hit their mark, but the damage was done. 
Like with many a schoolyard squabble, I’m sure James probably said something like, “I’m going to tell my brother, and he’ll beat you up.” Because right after the incident, Bat Masterson, who was in Tombstone, Arizona at the time, jumped on a train, and traveled the 1,100 miles to Dodge City to avenge his brother.      
Peacock obviously knew that Bat was coming, because Peacock and Updegraph were waiting for Bat when his train arrived on April 16. Guns were drawn, and bullets started flying. Soon more gunshots were heard from another direction as some of Peacock’s friends enter the fray. And then more shots as James Masterson and his friends joined into the rukus.    
As the shootout participants were reloading their empty guns, the mayor and the sheriff showed up with loaded shotguns, and demanded the shootout stop. Which it did. Unfortunately, brother-in-law, Updegraph was killed during the shooting. 
The outcome of the Masterson – Peacock Shootout was that Bat Masterson was arrested, and charged for discharging a pistol upon the streets of the city. He pleaded guilty, and was fined $8 in costs. Bat paid the fine, and the two Mastersons wisely left town on the next train, and onto more incidents to add to their legend.
Masterson - Peacock Shootout

The Passing of the Old West Boots

Considering the popularity of Old West boots today, here is an interesting article from 1894.

Disuse of Foot Gear Once Popular East and West.

Old West BootsNovember 7, 1894, Evening News, El Paso, Texas – The diminished use of boots is a matter of concern to the manufacturers of them and to the producers of heavy leather and heavy calfskins.  Twenty years ago the calf boot industry was a leading one in New England.  Whole towns were studded with factories, which produced calf boots exclusively.  For a decade the sale has been gradually falling off, and today it is of hardly any importance.

A few manufacturers of shoes include boots as a specialty, but the demand is too light to amount to much.  When calf boots were more in vogue, manufacturers consulted the partialities of the cowboys, to whom price was a secondary consideration.  The legs were frequently corded with silk stitching.  The star and crescent and other fanciful ornamentations were inlaid on the legs of the boots.  There were high heels, and boots were striking specimens of mechanical art.  The soles were inlaid with copper, zinc and brass nails.

The cowboys no longer pay $15 for a pair of boots.  They want substance instead of show.  But they were not the only wearers of calf boots.  They were extensively worn.  Many men prefer them today, though the number is growing less.

The old-fashioned stoga boots were formerly sold in large quantities.  They are well nigh obsolete.  There followed a demand for a lighter and more stylish article.  A kip boot of finer texture was produced, about equal in appearance to the best calf boot, but this, too, has fallen somewhat into disuse, and the sales this season are scarcely over one-half the usual amount.  Even the farmers are using heavy shoes instead of boots, and if it becomes a necessity to wear long legged boots they buy rubber.

Willard Christianson – The Mormon Kid

Willard Christianson - The Mormon KidThe family of Willard Christianson moved to Utah after they had converted to Mormonism. At the age of 14 Willard got in a fight, and thinking he had killed his adversary, ran away from home.  As a young boy Willard fell in with bad company and started rustling cattle. While operating out of Utah’s Robbers Roost area he got the nickname of the Mormon Kid.  
The Mormon Kid met a Rose Morgan, fell in love and got married. Wanting to develop some semblance of a normal life, he and his partner in crime, Tom McCarty started a cattle ranch. But this didn’t last long. In 1892 the two of them went up to Washington and robbed a bank in which two citizens were wounded. Shortly afterward they were arrested and put in jail. But two days before their trial they attempted a jailbreak by wrapping themselves in blankets and blackening their faces to look like Indians. But it didn’t work. Actually, the attempted jailbreak wasn’t necessary because they were found not guilty. 
In 1896 Willard was involved in a shootout that, in reality, could have been considered self-defense. But this time he was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years in prison. After his release in 1900, Willard settled down in Carbon County, Utah where he used his earlier training to good effect by being elected justice of the peace and serving as deputy sheriff. He later moved to Price, Utah where he served as a policeman, that is, when he wasn’t busy at his other job… selling white lightning as a bootlegger. 
Willard Christianson was able to live a full life dying peacefully on December 21, 1938 at the ripe old age of 74.    
Willard Christianson - The Mormon Kid

Chuckwagon: Cowboy Coffee Roast

Cowboy Coffee RoastCowboys loved their coffee.  Here’s a recipe where coffee is actually used in cooking a cowboy coffee roast.

Cut slits in a 3 to 5 pound brisket.  Insert garlic and onion into the slits.  Pour one cup of vinegar over the meat, and work it into the slits.  Marinate for 24 to 48 hours – refrigerated, of course.

Place in a Dutch oven.  Pour 2 cups of strong coffee and 2 cups water over the meat.  Simmer for 4 to 6 hours.  If necessary, add water during the cooking.

*Courtesy of Chronicle of the Old West newspaper, for more click HERE.

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