“THE CHARADE”

ELSA JANE FOREST

— AN “UNWOMANLY” CHARACTER — The proprietor of the Mountain Boys Saloon in Denver City went by the name of Mountain Charley. The tavern owner carried a gun and a long knife and wore men’s clothes. But he was a she.

Elsa Jane Forest lived as a man for thirteen years. She donned the disguise after the man she married was killed. She found it easier to find work like […]

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“LARGER THAN LIFE”

OREGON LEGEND

— HORSE RUSTLER AND LEGEND — Hank Vaughn had a fast temper and a faster gun. While working at a family ranch in Canyon City, Oregon, in 1864, the teenager shot and wounded a miner in a dispute over partial payment on a horse.

The miner claimed the horse was stolen. Vaughn took offense and shot him in front of a witness. Vaugh was 15.

While out […]

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“THE REAL MC COY”

CATTLE BARON

— CATTLE BARON OF ABILENE — An oversupply of Longhorn cattle drove prices to rock bottom in the 1860s. But businessman Joseph McCoy figured a way to help Texas ranchers send their herds East to satisfy a big demand for beef.

Following the Civil War, cattle prices on the frontier dropped to between three- and four dollars a head. Chicago buyers, on the other hand, were paying $30 to $40 […]

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“GOOD DAY TO DIE”

CRAWFORD GOLDSBY

— BLOOD-THIRSTY MAD DOG — The young prisoner emerged from the courthouse at Fort Smith, Arkansas, under heavy guard for his walk to the gallows. He stopped for a second, looked up at the sky, and squinted into the sunlight. “It is a good day to die…” he whispered.

Crawford Goldsby, born at Fort Concho, Texas, February 8, 1876, began his criminal career early in life—age 13. In addition to […]

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