Old West Lifestyle & Stories


J.W. McCorlde just sent us a comment about his brother-in-law telling him about Cowboy To Cowboy.  It reminded me of some other Old West brothers-in-law.

Back in 1873, Clint Barkley was in Texas when he murdered a man.  Clint immediately bugged out of the area and went to Lampasas, Texas to seek help from his brother-in-law, Merritt Horrell.

Merritt was one of five Horrell brothers who were operating a cattle ranch.  The Horrell brothers weren’t exactly angels, but they did manage not to get crossways with the law…that is until brother-in-law Barkley arrived.

Shortly after Barkley arrived at the Horrell’s, Texas Ranger Captain Thomas Williams and three policemen arrived.  Ever loyal to their relatives, the Horrell’s said they wouldn’t turn over their dear brother-in-law.

On March 19, 1873, four of the Horrell brothers, Barkley and some other cowboys went to the Matador Saloon, and waited for the law to arrive.  And arrive they did, right through the front door.  The two groups exchanged gun shots.  Captain Williams and two of his men were immediately killed.  The third retreated, wounding two of the Horrell group in the process.

The two Horrell men were arrested.  Now brother-in-law Barkley took action.  On March 25, he and members of the Horrell faction raided the jail.  Barkley took a sledge-hammer to the jail door.  With led flying everywhere, Barkley was wounded, but he kept pounding until the prisoners were rescued.

Brother-in-law Barkley stuck with the Horrell brothers until they were all either killed or hanged by vigilantes.  No longer having any brothers-in-law to hang around with, Barkley left the area, and was never heard from again.

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