Old West Lifestyle & Stories


Growing up in Texas, Luke Short became a cowboy.  At about 5’ 5” and no more than 150 pounds, he found the cowLuke Shortboy life hard work and little pay, so he became a merchant in Nebraska.  Immediately Luke discovered there wasn’t money in selling general merchandise to the settlers, so he decided to sell bootleg whiskey to the Indians.

The army caught Luke, and put him in jail. Escaping jail, Luke headed to Leadville, Colorado where he discovered a way to work with his hands that wasn’t strenuous or illegal.  It was dealing cards.

A Leadville bully thought Short should give him money for gambling.  Short chose to give him led instead.  After the killing, Short headed over to Dodge City where he became friends with Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp.  When Wyatt went to Tombstone, Luke followed him.

February 25, 1881 Luke Short ran into another bully named Charlie Storms.  A drunk Charlie Storms and Luke Short had a gambling disagreement.  Storms pulled his gun and challenged Short to a gunfight.  Short pulled his gun and shot Storms twice…once in the heart and once in the head.
Although it was self-defense, Charlie Storms had a number of friends, and Luke didn’t want to spend his life watching his back, so he took the next train out of Tombstone.  Eight months later the shootout at the O.K. Corral took place.

It is generally agreed that if Luke Short were still in Tombstone at the time of the O.K. Corral shootout, today we would be talking about the Earp brothers, Doc Holliday and Luke Short in the same breath.

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