Hired Gun

— RIDING WITH HISTORY — Sherman McMaster never stayed long in one place. Always on the move, he crisscrossed Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. He rode the frontier mostly as a hired gun and associated with some of the most recognizable names in history. 

Born 1853 into wealthy Illinois family, McMaster—also known as McMasters—made his way West in his late Teens or Twenties.

And he wasted little making […]

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— MYTH, MISINFORMATION, AND MYSTERY — On a cold Wednesday afternoon, October 26, 1881, two groups of men faced off in a small corner of Tombstone, Arizona Territory, in the most legendary gunfight in frontier history—a gunfight told from different and biased perspectives and often brushed with fictional facts. For some, the event triggers the imagination. For others, it tests their patience.  

While most stories focus on the gunfight […]

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Wells Fargo

— TRACKING LAWBREAKERS — A young gambler by the name of Fred Dodge sat behind the driver of the stagecoach that rolled into Tombstone on a sunny but nippy winter afternoon in early December 1879. His journey to Arizona Territory, however, involved much more than spending time at a card table.

Gambling provided Dodge the flexibility he needed to carry out his duties as an undercover agent for Wells Fargo […]

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— THE MEANEST GOOD GUY — John Horton Slaughter sat at a poker table on Commerce Street in San Antonio, Texas, in 1876, and watched the dealer distribute the last hand. Something about the cards troubled him, but he kept playing.

A short time later, Barney Gallagher slammed his hole-card down and claimed victory.

When he leaned over the table to gather in his winnings, Gallagher found himself […]

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