James Masterson

Jim Masterson

In 1876, Wyatt Earp became a policeman in Dodge City, Kansas. A fellow policeman was Jim Masterson, Bat’s brother. On July 29 1878, Wyatt and Jim were patrolling the streets. At about 3 o’clock in the morning three cowboys, after picking up their pistols, passed by the local dance hall. Thinking it would be a great joke, they fired several shots into the dance hall. Wyatt and Jim rushed to where the action was taking place. The cowboys immediately turned their guns on Wyatt and Jim. Had they not been plastered, the cowboys would have realized that up until then, what they had done would have just gotten them run out of town. However, with lead coming their way, both lawmen started shooting back.

The cowboys made it to their horses, and as they rode away both Wyatt and Jim emptied their pistols in their direction. Thinking they had missed, the policemen started walking away when George Hoy, one of the cowboys, fell from his saddle. Hoy had been shot in the arm. Hoy was taken to a doctor, and then jail. Unfortunately for him infection set into the wound and he died four weeks later.

Many historians credit Wyatt for the kill even though, with lead flying, it couldn’t be positively determined if Wyatt or Jim’s bullet did the damage. And, with Hoy dying, from what could have been considered a minor wound, quite possibly, it was the doctor that did the killing. But, then, as far as George Hoy is concerned, no matter who did the killing, the results were the same.

 

Filed under: Old West Myth & Fact

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