King of the Gold Chasers

King of the Gold Chasers

Photo is of “Klondikers” carrying supplies ascending the Chilkoot Pass, 1900. Photo Credit: COURTESY OF GEORGE G. CANTWELL PHOTO, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON LIBRARIES, SPECIAL COLLECTIONS Captain William Moore lived an extraordinary life, much of it centered...
Balaam, the Fighting Mule

Balaam, the Fighting Mule

*Note: The photo above is not of Pink Ayers and Balaam, the mule; it was provided by the Texas Gillespie County Historical Society. On August 5, 1873, there was a battle with Mescalero Apaches in Llano County, Texas, that became known as the battle of Packsaddle...
Tracker Extraordinaire

Tracker Extraordinaire

Raymond Hatfield Gardner was captured by Comanche Indians as a one-year-old child while crossing Texas in a wagon train. At age nine, his captors traded him to the Sioux tribe. The trading price demanded by the Comanches? Nine ponies, eight blankets and two girls! He...
Nelson Story’s Famous Drive

Nelson Story’s Famous Drive

The name Nelson Story is synonymous with a famous cattle drive from Texas to Virginia City Montana, covering 1,400 miles and establishing the cattle industry in Montana. Story began his cattle drive in Texas in 1866 with 1,000 cows, though some say he had 3,000 cows....
The Legend of Mountain Charley

The Legend of Mountain Charley

Mountain Charley was a colorful character from the pages of the American West who worked as a fur trader, railroad brakeman, opened and ran a saloon in Denver, worked on a riverboat steamer and served in the Civil War. Unusual fact about Mountain Charley: she was a...
Yuma Territorial Prison

Yuma Territorial Prison

One of the most famous prisons from the days of the Old West is the Yuma Territorial Prison. The prison was in operation from 1876 until 1909. It is no longer in use, of course, but remains as a famous part of western history and can still be toured today. The prison...
Pete Kitchen: Arizona Pioneer

Pete Kitchen: Arizona Pioneer

Pete Kitchen is said to have established the first ranch in Arizona, just north of Nogales, Mexico, in 1862. Pete served in the Mexican War, arriving in Tucson in 1854. He became very proficient with both pistol and rifle. He was especially good with his rifle, and...
Outlaws and Vigilantes in Montana

Outlaws and Vigilantes in Montana

Nothing draws a crowd like discovering gold. That is what happened in the Territory of Montana in 1862 and 1863. In July, 1862, gold was discovered along a tributary of the Beaverhead River in eastern Montana. This led to the formation of the town of Bannack. In May...
Judge Roy Bean: Fact and Fiction

Judge Roy Bean: Fact and Fiction

Judge Roy Bean is a popular, colorful figure in the history of the old West. Here are a few items of fact and fiction about Roy Bean: Fiction: Roy Bean was a “hanging judge”. In fact, Roy Bean is known to have sentenced only two men to hang, and one of them escaped....
Dallas in the 1870’s: Truly the Wild West!

Dallas in the 1870’s: Truly the Wild West!

Myra Maybelle Shirley moved to a town called Scyene, Texas in 1864. Neither the town nor the lady’s name is well known at this point. Scyene is now a part of the city of Dallas (in the southeastern corner of the city). Myra married a man named Jim Reed in 1866, and...