“HIRED GUN”

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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“A TARNISHED STAR”

TRAIN ROBBERY

— GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER — In the early morning of September 29, 1883, three gunmen boarded the westbound Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Express when it rolled into a small cattle station in Coolidge, Kansas.

The leader, holding a pistol in each hand, shoved one of them into John Hilton’s chest and ordered him to stop the train.

Hilton, a family man with […]

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“AN UNWANTED REPUTATION”

SWEETWATER SHOOTOUT

— THE SWEETWATER SHOOTOUT — The soldier playing poker at the Lady Gay Saloon in Sweetwater, Texas, rose from his chair in disgust, threw his cards hand down, and stormed out the door. Another player, Bat Masterson, watched him leave, not knowing the two would meet again before the night ended.

Corporal Melvin A. King of the 4th Cavalry at a nearby Army post struggled with the […]

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“BAWDY AND BLOODY”

JOSEPH LOWE

— LETHAL DANCE HALL RIVALRY —  Rowdy Joe Lowe stood at the bar of his Wichita, Kansas, dance hall when a gunshot shattered the east window and the bullet sliced across the lower part of his neck.

Bleeding and angry, he snatched up his shotgun and stormed through the door of the competing dance hall next door, demanding to know who shot him.

“I done it,” admitted a drunken saloon owner […]

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