Often things moved fast in the Old West.  Today’s hero is sometimes tomorrow’s bum.  Or, in Caldwell, Kansas toGeorge Flattday’s hero is tomorrow’s dead bum.

Born in Tennessee, George Flatt, went out to Caldwell, Kansas.  George had a bit of a stubborn streak that came out in July of 1879.  After more than a few drinks, a couple of cowboys in the Occidental Saloon started shooting their pistols.  Constable Kelly and a posse that included George Flatt came to take care of the problem.  The posse cautiously entered the saloon, and saw the two cowboys with their guns pointed at them.  The cowboys started for the door.  But Flatt stepped forward and blocked the door.  Carrying two guns, the cowboys demanded that he drop them.  Flatt responded, “I’ll die first.”  A shot from one of the cowboys whizzed past Flatt’s head.  Flatt went into action.  Each gun took out a cowboy.

Things moved fast in Caldwell.  In a matter of weeks, George Flatt advanced from posse member to the city’s first marshal.  And capitalizing on his new found fame he went into partnership with William Horseman operating a saloon.

But many times as fast as things go well, just as fast they turn bad.  Flatt was a heavy drinker.  And within a year not only had his partnership with Horseman fallen apart, but Horseman had even replaced him as city marshal.

Then on Saturday evening, June 19, 1880 after spending some time drinking in the bars, George Flat headed for home.  From the dark a rifle shot rang out.  It hit Flatt in the skull.  Once he was down, three more slugs filled his body.  Yes, things moved fast in Caldwell, Kansas…From a marshal and businessman to a dead drunk laying face down in the dirt in less than a year.

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