We see outlaws in the movies riding at breakneck speed to chase down a stagecoach, and then jump from the horse to the stagecoach to encounter the driver and guard. All outlaws weren’t that good of horsemen.

One such person got out of San Quentin Prison on this date back in 1881. His name was Dick Fellows.

Raised in Kentucky, Dick Fellows…An alias…came to California, and falling on hard times decided to rob stagecoaches. He picked the correct stage. It was carrying $240,000. However, as he was getting ready to go after the stage, the stolen horse he was riding threw him, and he was knocked unconscious.

Not one to give up, Fellows stole another horse and held up the next stage. He was successful. After the stage left, he tried to lift the strong box on his horse. The horse startled and raced off.

With night coming on he started walking with the strong box. Next he fell over a high bluff, knocking himself unconscious a second time. He woke up with a broken leg and foot.

Although the strong box has $1800 in it, he never got a chance to spend it, before Wells Fargo Detectives caught up with him.

When he got out of San Quentin, I believe most people would take the hint and go straight. But not Fellows. He went back to robbing stages, only to be caught again and sentenced to life in Folsom Prison.


We’ve all watched Dr. Quinn Medicine Women…actually it’s still in reruns and still looks as good as it did the first time around. Have you ever wondered where they got the idea for the show?

I’m not exactly sure, but it could have been Bethena Owens. Go to the link below and you’ll know what I’m talking about.



The resolution for the National Day of the Cowboy is under assault in the California Assembly.

An animal rights advocate is maintaining the National Day of the Cowboy isn’t about the pioneer and our western heritage, but ranchers and rodeo.  He wants to change the resolution to the day of the rodeo rancher.  And then he goes on to talk about how animals are abused at rodeos.

This resolution has always been about all who are part of heritage preservation and cowboy culture.  It’s about the music, the art, the artisans, the literature, the cowboys, the cowgirls, poetry, ranching, land and animal stewardship, historic events, cowboy organizations, the cowboy’s horse, landmarks, family stories, ferriers, saddle makers, those who simply love cowboys and our mythical cowboy too.

Anyone from California needs to contact their California State Legislator and express their support of SCR 70 as soon as possible.  The vote is this coming Thursday.


Here’s another Old West Myth and Fact. Tradition and the early Colt Pistol manuals says to load only five cartridges in a pistol and leave the empty cylinder under the hammer. The reason being if the hammer is accidently hit with a live cartridge under it, it could go off…Incidentally; modern pistols have a safety bar to prevent accidental firing.

So, did they load only five cartridges? Not always. Wyatt Earp’s pistol fell to the floor in a saloon and it went off. Lawman Dallas Stoudenmire was being interviewed by a newspaper reporter. During the interview Dallas showed his shooting skills. The reporter said all six shots hit the target. A couple of years ago we published an article in Chronicle of the Old West from 1898 where two men went into the back room of a saloon, and while there a pistol was fired. The people in the saloon though it was a gun fight. Actually, one of the men dropped their pistol.

My feeling is if you were an average Joe you probably loaded five cartridges, but if there was a chance of gunplay you wanted as much firepower as possible. And that extra cartridge could mean the difference between life and death.

What do you think?


On this date back in 1846, Zachary Taylor led American forces against an attacking Mexican Army in the Battle of Palo Alto.

Mexico had never recognized the independence of Texas, and when the U.S. annexed Texas, Mexico sent troops into the disputed Rio Grande River area.

President Polk ordered General Taylor into Texas to defend the border. It was viewed by Mexico as a hostile invasion and the Mexican Army attacked the American forces.

Although the Mexican forces were much larger in number, General Taylor was not only victorious in this battle; he won four additional battles and gained control over the three northeastern Mexican states.

Incidentally, as a result of these and other victories, Zachary Taylor became a national hero referred to as “Old Rough and Ready”. This eventually catapulted him into the Presidency. Unfortunately, he was a much better general than President.

 Page 61 of 76  « First  ... « 59  60  61  62  63 » ...  Last »