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Sunday, April 28, 2024

Buck Camp Pineapple man...

Original Post Oct 16th 2015

My friend Joe Shelton spotted this one some years ago from the old dirt road down in South Ouray... Joe has since passed on.... Rest in Peace my friend...

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Grat Dalton and the Sundance Kid


                     Grat Dalton &...                  the Sundance Kid

Who was Grat Dalton really?


Gratton Hanley "Grat" Dalton (March 30, 1861 – October 5, 1892) was an American outlaw in the American Old West. He was one of three brothers in the Dalton Gang, led by his younger brother Bob Dalton. Both brothers were killed during a shootout in an ill-fated raid on two banks in Coffeyville, Kansas. Their brother Emmett Dalton survived to be convicted and imprisoned for fourteen years.


Short career as lawman


Their older brother Frank Dalton served as a Deputy US Marshal….

John Franklin Dalton (June 8, 1859 – November 27, 1887) was a Deputy US Marshal of the Old West under Judge Isaac Parker (the hangin' judge), [AKA JOHN YOUNGER, His cousin] for Oklahoma Territory, as well as the older brother to the members of the Dalton Gang, in addition to being the brother to William M. Dalton, once a member of California legislature, and later an outlaw and leader of the Doolin Dalton gang alongside Bill Doolin.


Frank Dalton is not to be confused with J. Frank Dalton (1848-1951), who made many claims to be famous people, including his claim of being Frank Dalton, and later Jesse James. [Frank Dalton IS the very Frank Dalton, cousin to Jesse James, in which Jesse James borrowed his Alias J Frank Dalton after his cousin was killed, it is absolutely to be confused with…]


[Frank,] by all accounts the strongest of the brothers, he always kept his brothers in line. Grat and his younger brothers idolized Frank. On Nov 27, 1887 Frank and another deputy marshal, Jim Cole, went across the river from their base at Fort Smith to arrest three whiskey bootleggers. As they approached the camp, the bootleggers began to shoot at them. After Dalton shot and killed two, his gun jammed, and he was killed by the remaining bootlegger. His deputy abandoned him after being shot. Frank Dalton is buried in Coffeyville, Kansas.


I would recommend a read of the WIKI article just so you can see how history has a way of revealing its true self…. 

Now lets look at another outlaw of the past whom we all thought we knew who he was… and history and the many writers still thinks they know…


The Sundance Kid… 


[History believes Sundance was…] 

Harry Alonzo Longabaugh (1867 – November 7, 1908), better known as the Sundance Kid, was an outlaw and member of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch in the American Old West. He likely met Butch Cassidy (real name Robert Leroy Parker) during a hunting trip in 1883 or earlier. The "Wild Bunch" gang performed the longest string of successful train and bank robberies in American history.


Longabaugh fled the United States along with his consort Etta Place and Butch Cassidy to escape the dogged pursuit of the Pinkerton Detective Agency. The trio fled first to Argentina and then to Bolivia, where most historians believe Parker (Cassidy) and Longabaugh were killed in a shootout in November 1908.


I don’t know where the writers come up with these names, but Harry Alonzo Longabaugh was just another of the many alias’s.

Although there are many snippets in the Black Book about Sundance, I am just gong to show a few here as Butch Casidy and the Sundance Kid played very big parts in Jesse’s many adventures…


[Jesse Speaking]

“They weren't killed in South America. Sundance was really Grat Dalton of the notorious Dalton Gang and Jesse James' cousin. I last saw Butch, the old Utah boy, up in Washington when he married Dotty, who was the daughter of T. E. Lawrence. Dalton and Cassidy and other members of the Wild Bunch always married within their clique - it was safer that way."


Historians will be quick to point out that Harry Longbaugh was the Sundance Kid. He certainly was. Another alias was Ben Kilpatrick. Toss in Grover Shropshire, Enrique Brown and half a dozen more assumed names. How did Grat Dalton get the name, the Sundance Kid? He holed up one winter in Sundance, Wyoming, and the name stuck. One alias was as good as another.

"But they all add up to Grat Dalton. This will come as a shock to many Western buffs used to seeing that worn old photo taken in 1892 at Coffeyville showing Bill Powers, Bob Dalton, Grat Dalton and Dick Broadwell stacked like cordwood awaiting the undertaker. The men identified as Bob and Grat Dalton were corpses of the Christian brothers," Jesse III points out.

"Bob and Grat Dalton, Bill Doolin and Eugene Robertson were just about to enter Coffeyville from another direction when Doolin's horse threw a shoe. They stopped to nail it back on and this took about ten minutes. By that time the shooting had started. The tardy bandits were just in time to help a couple of men escape and then run for it themselves. I'd heard the story two dozen times from Grat Dalton," Jesse III said.

In 1958 the grandson of Jesse W. James was in Montana and not unsurprisingly found parts of what his grandfather had called The Organization still operating. He'd heard Grat was going under the alias of Grover Shropshire and living near Cut Bank…..


Grat died under the name of Grover Shropshire outside Cut Bank, Montana, in 1965. He was about 100 years old.


A few years ago I was introduced by my friend David, to such a sweet little old lady named Jean Draney Johnson (1939-2019) in Layton Utah who was living in an elderly care center… We visited at least 3 times, Terry Carter, David Bullock and Myself traveled up one day to see her and interview her… In one of our meetings prior, she told me things that just floored me… some of which I agreed not to tell. But one thing she told me was when she was little, Jesse James use to stop by her dads place and she would sit on his lap and he would tell her stories about Jesse James.. Her dad asked her once, Do you know why Mr. Howard knew so much about Jesse James? ... Because he was Jesse James… If you look at the video on youtube of J Frank Dalton you will notice when he reaches for the bucket, you can see what’s left of his left index finger which is black on the end… Before Jean ever saw this video, she told me that she remembered the end of his index finger had been chewed off, and he had a black finger nail, she said I remember because he would poke me in the belly with it… But back to Sundance…

Jean Draney Johnson



Jean also told me that when she was young she rode in a stage coach with Sundance who lived in that area being Grover Wyoming. While traveling he shared with her a candy twist, like a candy cane… she said he was very kind to her…


Images used left to right, only known image of Grat Dalton. A well known image of Sundance, Bowler Hat, new image of formerly unknown taken in 1995 posing with Jesse W. and Dr. Sylvester Franklin James, 3 years after Grat was supposedly killed and on the right another well know image of Sundance.

You decide, was the Sundance Kid Grat Dalton whom history killed off in 1892?  Above is the overlay images used in the overlays below……


Grat to unknown image taken in 1895


Grat to Bowler hat Sundance


1895 image to Bowler hat Sundance



Other well know Sundance Image to 1895 Image


I don’t know about you but I am 100% convinced that the Sundance Kid was no doubt Grat Dalton.

Sitting on the left Kentucky Born Jesse W James, sitting on the right Sylvester Franklin James

Standing on the left Grat Dalton Alias The Sundance Kid, standing on the right, SUSPECT Jesse Jr. or Harvey Logan

ONE of the 3 interviews with Jean Johnson

(The Black Book)

Jesse James was one of his Names

Thursday, April 25, 2024

John Younger and the Hanging Judge, Isaac C. Parker


Some of the following may shock you and then, maybe not, considering all that has gone on in the past and even today, people just don’t seem to be who they claim to be… and no one seems to have died when history says they did!… what a time to live eh?



John Younger

John Younger was the younger brother of the deadly Cole Younger of what writers have given the name of the Younger Gang or James Younger gang, when in fact there was no “gang” at all. These boys began as innocent victims of Northern Scum like Bill Hickok.

John Younger we don’t hear to much about, but that’s because history killed him in March of 1874 when 3 investigators, two of which we Pinkertons, shot the wrong guys, but hey who cares huh? As far as their ego was concerned they has just shot John Younger. I don’t know who lies dead at Yeater Cleveland Cemetery in Saint Clair Missouri, but it sure as hell isn’t John.

A little part of the WIKI ditty…

In January 1866, Bob and John took their mother to Independence, Missouri, to purchase winter supplies. Recognizing the family from his military days an ex-soldier named Gillcreas came up to the wagon and made some comments about Cole. John told him to be quiet and the soldier slapped him around the face with a frozen fish. John got out his brother's pistol (Cole's that they had taken to be repaired) and shot him between the eyes.

After an examination of the body it was revealed the soldier was carrying a heavy slingshot that still was tied to his wrist, so the killing was ruled as self-defense.


Texas and Missouri

The Youngers headed to Texas for a peaceful life until illness fell on Bersheba so the boys (with the exception of Cole) took her back to Missouri to die.

As soon as they arrived they were harassed, Bob was knocked unconscious, and John was hanged four times, and the fourth time they hanged him the rope dug deep into his flesh. They cut him down and hacked at the body with knives He survived. Witnessing this was too much for Bersheba  and she died on June 6, 1870, her 54th birthday.

After Bersheba's funeral John and Bob met up with Jim and, because it was not safe to stay in one place, they often moved between Missouri and Texas.

On January 20, 1871, he shot and killed two Texas deputy sheriffs. 

How much of this is true we can only guess, may I suggest a WIKI read on John Younger. As it would seem there is a lot of “Citation Needed” I guess pulling it out of yer back side isn’t allowed on WIKI… but quoting some one else who has is ok…


The Hanging Judge 

The Hanging Judge, Isaac Charles Parker. O’L WIKI has quite a write up on the Hanging Judge… quite a resume I might say… During his 21 years serving as a Federal Judge, which began just ONE Year after John Younger was supposedly killed… it is said that Parker tried 13.490 cases and of those sentence 160 to death of which 79 were hung. It would almost seem as though Parker had some anger issues. I would again suggest a read up on WIKI… To bad O’L Judge Parker never got his hands on John Younger, in fact I don’t think he ever had any of the Younger’s, Daltons or James’s appeared in his court… and if they did, they went free? I wonder why… Let’s see if the Black book can help us understand the Judge’s anger issues and yet inability to try any of these so called gangs…


Isaac Charles Parker,  FROM the Black Book… 

One of old Jesse's final confessions involved the true identity of The Hanging Judge, Isaac Charles Parker, the Federal Judge in Ft. Smith, Arkansas, who won fame for his mass hangings.

Old Jesse said, "Historians have written reams about Judge Parker, the good Republican who won a Federal Judgeship from President U.S. Grant, another Republican. With his notoriety, you'd think newspapermen or that great detective, Allan Pinkerton, would have delved deeper into Judge Parker's background.

"If they had, they would have discovered that Judge Parker was really John Younger. That's right, his brother was 'deadly' Cole Younger. About in 1874, John Younger was reported killed in some shooting scrape in Monagaw Springs, Missouri, but John wasn't even there. People swore it was John Younger and that's the way it went into the history books.

"Legally dead, John changed his name to Parker, got religion and went up to Ohio and became a Republican. Despite his pious courtroom appearance and Bible-pounding antics, the Judge remained a crook at heart. I can give you a list of a dozen oldtime bandits who saved their necks by paying tribute to Judge Parker.

"My mother was a Dalton, an aunt of the Dalton Gang brothers and Cole and John Younger's mother was a Dalton, so I guess you'd say Judge Parker and I were kinfolk. After I pulled the St. Joseph hoax and before I was legally dead in 1889, Cole Younger and I often visited Judge Parker in Ft. Smith.

"One night, we were sitting in the Judge's living room and Parker asked, 'Jesse, do you have to wear your six-guns while you're a guest in my home?' I replied, 'You're damn right I do, Judge, just in case you forget you're John Younger and try to put a rope around my neck!' Parker knew I was a wealthy man, and he suspected my connections with the Confederate Underground. He was always trying to pump me. One night, I told him, 'Judge, you sold out to the damnyankees for a judgeship. We're now on opposite sides of the fence and I reckon we'll stay that way!'

"When we were around Judge Parker, Cole and I were damn careful. Some nights, I guess his conscience was bothering him - he'd pace the hall for an hour or so. Cole and I'd sit up in bed, a six-gun in each hand. We never trusted him. There's something about a man who suddenly gets religion and changes his political party. He's like a reformed drunk. My brother, Dr. Frank, was a brilliant man, but he was a terrible lush. Then he swore off Demon Rum and became a fanatical Prohibitionist. I've seen him knock a glass of whisky out of a friend's hand. And I've seen him suddenly pull out his guns and start shooting up a bar just because they peddled drink."


What are the possibilities? Could this be true? The following is the only photo in which I am almost certain is John Younger, likely before he had trouble, and the Youngest photo I could find of judge Parker… although the two photos are at a slight angle difference the match up was more of a success than I thought it would be… I will leave it to your own opinion, it’s a hung jury for me… 

Using John’s Youngest photo and overlapping using Judge Parkers youngest photo see the transition below.

John Younger          Isaac Charles Parker

          20%                  40%                    60%                    80%              100%



Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Another perspective of Wild Bill Hickok

  ... by those who knew him...

From the all knowing and ever trusting WIKI…


James Butler Hickok (May 27, 1837 – August 2, 1876), better known as "Wild Bill" Hickok, was a folk hero of the American Old West known for his life on the frontier as a soldier, scout, lawman, cattle rustler, gunslinger, gambler, showman, and actor, and for his involvement in many famous gunfights. He earned a great deal of notoriety in his own time, much of it bolstered by the many outlandish and often fabricated tales he told about himself. Some contemporaneous reports of his exploits are known to be fictitious, but they remain the basis of much of his fame and reputation.



In 1876, Hickok was shot and killed while playing poker in a saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory (present-day South Dakota) by Jack McCall, an unsuccessful gambler. The hand of cards that he supposedly held at the time of his death has become known as the dead man's hand: two pairs; black aces and eights.


Hickok remains a popular figure of frontier history. Many historic sites and monuments commemorate his life, and he has been depicted numerous times in literature, film, and television. He is chiefly portrayed as a protagonist, although historical accounts of his actions are often controversial, and much of his career is known to have been exaggerated both by himself and by contemporary mythmakers. While Hickok claimed to have killed numerous named and unnamed gunmen in his lifetime, his career as a gunfighter only lasted from 1861 to 1871. Hickok killed only six or seven men in gunfights, according to Joseph G. Rosa, Hickok's biographer and the foremost authority on Wild Bill.


While in Nebraska, Hickok was derisively referred to by one man as "Duck Bill" for his long nose and protruding lips. He was also known before 1861 among Jayhawkers as "Shanghai Bill" because of his height and slim build. He grew a moustache following the McCanles incident, and in 1861 began calling himself "Wild Bill"


After the Civil War broke out in April 1861, Hickok became a teamster for the Union Army in SedaliaMissouri. By the end of 1861, he was a wagon master, but in September 1862, he was discharged for unknown reasons. He then joined General James Henry Lane's Kansas Brigade, and while serving with the brigade, saw his friend Buffalo Bill Cody, who was serving as a scout.


Buffalo Bill claimed that he encountered Hickok disguised as a Confederate officer in Missouri in 1864.  Hickok had not been paid for some time, and was hired as a scout by General John B. Sanborn by early 1865. In June, Hickok mustered out and went to Springfield, where he gambled. The 1883 History of Greene CountyMissouri described him as "by nature a ruffian ... a drunken, swaggering fellow, who delighted when 'on a spree' to frighten nervous men and timid women.


On August 1, 1876, Hickok was playing poker at Nuttal & Mann's Saloon No. 10 in Deadwood, Dakota Territory. When a seat opened up at the table, a drunk man named Jack McCall sat down to play. McCall lost heavily. Hickok encouraged McCall to quit the game until he could cover his losses and offered to give him money for breakfast. Although McCall accepted the money, he was apparently insulted.

The next day, Hickok was playing poker again. He usually sat with his back to a wall so he could see the entrance, but the only seat available when he joined the game was a chair facing away from the door. He twice asked another man at the table, Charles Rich, to change seats with him, but Rich refused. McCall then entered the saloon, walked up behind Hickok, drew his Colt Model 1873 Single Action Army .45-caliber revolver, serial # 2079 as identified by William Massie, the River Boat Captain seated at the table, and shouted, "Damn you! Take that!" before shooting Hickok in the back of the head at point-blank range.

Hickok died instantly. The bullet emerged through his right cheek and struck Massie in the left wrist. Hickok may have told his friend Charlie Utter and others who were traveling with them that he thought he would be killed while in Deadwood,


Well that’s the way history has it and quite a bit more… but there is much I did not include simply because I just can’t take much of reading fiction… but I gotta hand it to this WIKI writer, as it seems he has captured some of what I would deem as truth about Bill Hickok. 

Now let me share with you the likely story as told by Jesse James and a few others, but is it true? Well if I had to answer that in the form of an opinion I’d have to say… A hell of a lot more so that what the history writers and authors looking to sell a books have written… Not to mention, I am having a hard time wondering what the motive would be of Jesse and the others… knowing Jesse was a fiend and well acquainted with Calamity and her daughter and his own sister having raised the daughter of Calamity Jane…  Maybe I am just biased… or does it have something to do with many other things from the Black Book I have proven? 

Now lets take a look at another perspective that history didn’t know about or ignored, and if they did know, their pride wouldn’t let them believe it… 

A few pages from the Black Book…


Sitting on an empty wagon, Jesse enjoyed a few chuckles with his brother, Dr. Frank James and his first cousin, Grat Dalton (the Sundance Kid) as he recalled his last run in with Hickock, in 1870. Jesse's men had gone to Wichita, Kansas, to help build railroad beds and grades. Hickock was the marshal. Jesse recalled, "The first night we were in a saloon Wild Bill came in strutting around and yelling in his high-pitched sing-song voice what he would do to all 'Texans, renegades, rebels, etc.' None of us had a word to say - we just let him orate."

The third night in town, Wild Bill, who had a reputation for being a crack shot, bully and cold-blooded murderer, picked on one of Jesse's foremen without provocation and threatened to kill him.

Jesse had been asleep in a nearby hotel when word reached him. He got up, dressed, put on his six-guns and went looking for the marshal. He learned that Hickock, whose manhood at times was doubted, was a customer in a nearby parlor house. Jesse bribed the Negro maid with a twenty-dollar gold piece, went upstairs and kicked in the door to the room Wild Bill was temporarily occupying.

Dr. Frank grinned. "Stone naked, too, as I recollect you telling it, Jesse."

"Nope, only the assistant marshal was naked. They were both in there with one soiled dove."

Motioning with his two pistols, Jesse marched Wild Bill out into the street in his red flannel drawers and stockinged feet. Right behind Hickock was his deputy. Jesse chuckled. "Yep, it was quite a parade, kind of a freak show. Bill in his flannel drawers and his taller assistant, who was just plain bare-footed all over!"

After herding the two lawmen past leering faces peeking over swinging doors of the saloons, Jesse convoyed the pair to a point just beyond the edge of town. Wild Bill swore the next time they met he'd kill Jesse on sight. But the Kentuckian laughed and fired a couple of shots into the midnight air and the two men trotted westward over the new railroad grade.

Jesse squirted a stream of tobacco juice into the dusty Deadwood street and chuckled, "I guess you might say that Wild Bill resigned in a hurry that night because his feathers had been plucked."

History records that Wild Bill headed west to Dodge City and then north to Hays, Kansas. Being a crack shot - he fired from the hip - Hickock teamed up with William F. Cody for awhile and then drifted up to Nebraska and then into Dakota Territory.

Historians and pulp authors, completely ignoring the facts, relate that Hickock, the terror of the plains, was shot in the back on Wednesday night, Aug. 2, 1876, while playing poker with his back to the door in a Deadwood saloon. Perhaps they feel justified in their version because Bill always sat facing the door, and it was believed that no gunman alive could outshoot Hickock face-to-face. But Jesse, Dr. Frank, the Sundance Kid and Jesse's three fanatically loyal black bodyguards, John Trammell, Lucky Johnson and Big Charlie, swear it didn't happen that way. They remembered that Jesse was of good cheer that hot August night in 1878. It had been a fine trip, the "Union" enemy had been slaughtered, the surplus arms had been tucked away in the hidden cache and all merchandise had been sold speedily at inflated prices.

A small cerebration seemed in order and the three white
and three black men felt the need of a few drinks to wash the prairie dust from their throats. What better place than the No. 10 Saloon, the ex-Confederate hangout where the damnyankees feared to tread? Led by Colonel James, the men trooped into the sweltering bar. The din was terrific as drunken voices sought to sing Southern marching songs. Moths buzzed around hanging kerosene lamps and the light was poor.

Like the leader of a cavalry troop, Jesse held up his right hand. Could he believe his eyes? Standing nonchalantly at the bar were Wild Bill Hickock and a major in the U.S. Army. What was Hickock doing in the No. 10? Was he seeking out his hated enemy? Jesse's blue eyes grew narrow and deadly. He recalled that night six years ago in Wichita when Wild Bill had sworn to kill him on sight the next time they met.

Although he ordinarily spoke mildly, Jesse James could shout when he had to. Above the racket of the busy saloon he roared, "Okay, Hickock, this is it! Either way, you're as good as dead - so take it standing or laying down!"

Startled by the challenge, Wild Bill spilled his drink on the bar and slowly turned to peer at Jesse. His face chalk white and suddenly dripping perspiration, Hickock stared at the colonel for a full five seconds, but he made no move toward his guns. The major beside Hickock made a sudden move, and Jesse shot the officer in the arm, knocking him end over end. The next shot hit Wild Bill just above his right eye - the usual Jesse James trademark. Hickock was dead when he hit the floor.

Jesse slowly stuffed his pistol back into its holster and a series of Rebel yells shook the No. 10. While Dr. James patched up the major. Confederate sympathizers dragged Wild Bill over to a table near the door, set him down, poured a couple of quarts of liquor over his long hair and clothing and then placed a "dead man's hand" of cards on the table. Jesse, who neither approved nor disapproved of the action, gathered his group together. "Well, men, we came in here to wet our whistles so belly up to the bar." He signaled the barkeep by holding up six fingers.


The bartender hesitantly shook his head. "We-all don't serve Niggers..."

"The hell you don't!" Jesse countered. "I got a twenty- dollar gold piece that says you do. You'll serve John, Lukry and Big Charley because they're my bodyguards, so get moving."

The man behind the bar frowned. "By the looks of things, Colonel, you don't need no bodyguards." But he served the drinks and Trammell spoke for his two black companions when he held his glass aloft and said, "Cheers, Colonel, suh."

Jesse turned and kicked his older brother's boot which clung to the brass rail. "What was it, Frank, that doctor at the medical school used to tell you about whiskey?"

Frank smiled. "He said if you want to live a long and healthy life don't drink bad booze."

"The trouble is," Jesse said, "I ain't never drunk any whiskey that was bad." The man with the sharp blue eyes, beard and square jaw ordered another round. The din grew louder and Wild Bill, sitting dead at the table, was forgotten by the roistering patrons.

Then a young teamster from NaconaTexas, named Jack McCall cautiously maneuvered close to Jesse and hesitantly said, "Nice shot, Colonel."

The freight train owner smiled. "Jack, you ever have to kill a man?"

"Oh, no, Colonel, I ain't neveh yit kilt a man," the young man replied.

Jesse set his drink down and carefully lit a cigar. "Well, young Jack McCall, I got a reputation too big for one lone man so I'm giving you the gun that shot perhaps the most hated man I ever met."

James pulled the pistol from its holster. "Jack, here is my gun, tote it proudly and you keep it. I'm hereby giving you before all these witnesses the credit for the demise of Wild Bill Hickock. Let it be known from now on that you are the man with the gun that killed a spying, damnyankee sonuvabitch."

Years later, Jesse said giving his gun to young Jack 1McCall was done on impulse. An act of kindness. With all the ex Confederates jammed into the No. 10 it never occurred to him that McCall could get into any kind of trouble. Jesse had no sooner ordered McCall's empty beer glass refilled than a careful, almost apologetic lawman entered the No. 10 to investigate a report that Wild Bill Hickock had been shot.

The loud talk and singing stopped and to a man the ex Confederates swore young McCall had shot in self-defense, but the lawman shook his head. "There may be big trouble because nobody, but nobody, ever faced Wild Bill Hickock with a gun and lived to tell about it."

As the lawman led the Texas youngster away, Jesse whispered, "Don't you worry, McCall, we'll get you out of this."

Then Jesse turned to his men, put a wad of bills on the bar and said, "Have a few more. I gotta go pay a social call. John Trammell, drink up and come along with me, you hear?" It was cooler outside and Jesse and his trusted black aide stopped briefly by their horses to talk.

"Colonel, suh," Trammell said, "dat was some shootin' - you drill dat Wild Bill right ovah de right eye, yo did."

Jesse fingered his saddle. "John, you know I never brag or gloat over killing a man - much less talk about it afterward.''

Trammell was suddenly troubled. "Yo know, Colonel, suh, dat one marshal he say Wild Bill shot in de back. He crazy - why de back of Bill's head done blown away!"

"Don't worry, John, no jury will convict young McCall. I'11 see to that. I'm damnable sorry I got him involved - just a spur of the moment thing. I wasn't fixing to get him in trouble."

They mounted their horses and Trammell asked, "Where to, Colonel, suh?"

"We're going to visit Calamity Jane Hickock's shack to talk to a little girl named Jean and tell her I shot her father tonight."


Calamity Jane, born Martha Jane Cannary in 1852, was a tough, cursing, alcoholic, sometimes whore and bull- whacker who had married Hickock on Sept. 1, 1870, just 24 days before her daughter was born. But Wild Bill had divorced Jane and moved in with a "theatrical woman." Some said Bill broke off the marriage because he thought the child wasn't his or because his wife drank too much. But others, and there were many, claimed Hickock was a bully and a low-principled mad killer and was "no damn good from the word go." Bad as Calamity Jane was at times, they felt she was too good for the trigger-happy gunman. Sometimes Jane stayed drunk for days, but on the warm night of Aug. 2, Colonel James and John Trammell found her fairly sober and her modest shack quite neat and presentable.

Young Jean, who would be 6 on Sept. 25, happily crawled on Jesse's knee while Trammell, who had killed dozens of men with his tough black knuckles, told her simple folk stories.

Calamity Jane poured herself half a glass of whisky and asked, "What you been up to since I last laid eyes on you, Colonel?"

Jesse looked at her calmly. "Well, Jane, there's been a killing. You hear about it?"

Jane took a long swallow. "Yeah, I know, so the Injuns killed General Custer. No great loss. No loss atall, really. Don't blame the Injuns. The miners is running 'em outa the Black Hills with this goddamn gold rush. A cornered rat'll fight, you know, Jesse."

Jesse put his arms tightly around Jean Hickock. "No, not that killing, Jane. I mean this little girl no longer has a pappy after what happened tonight."

Jane jumped up and walked quickly to the open door, staring out into the Dakota darkness. Her voice was calm. "You mean somebody finally shot that no-good varmint?" She returned to her bottle and sloshed more amber fluid into her glass. Her hand shook ever so slightly.

Jesse cleared his throat. "I'd like to suggest, ma'm, that
Deadwood's no place for little Jean. We got to get her out Of here."

Jane leered at him. "For Chrissake, Jesse, you got any ideas? Ain't her own mother good enough for her?"

"It's not you, Jane. Deadwood is a roaring, shooting town at the edge of the world. No place to bring up a little girl. Let me send her back to some of my kin in Maryland where it's safe. I'11 take care of all expenses and pay for her education. And once a year, I'11 pay your way back there to visit her."

Jesse W. James, who could be as quick with persuasion as he was with his six guns, sold his idea to the raw frontier woman. The day the awkward Jack McCall was exonerated in the death of Wild Bill and headed back to Texas aboard one of Jesse's freight wagons, a stagecoach pulled out of Deadwood with little Jean Hickock and a trusted matron, whom Jesse had hired. He had given Calamity Jane a thousand dollars to seal the bargain.

Neither Jesse nor Calamity knew it at the time, but the Kentucky-born outlaw would be a force in her life until she died in 1903 at the age of 51. Jane worked as a bullwhacker for him now and then in Montana and when she was too drunk to drive horses, he supplied her with enough money to keep the wolf from the door.

When he was an old man, Jesse told his grandchildren, "Calamity in her day, in my opinion, was no worse and and certainly no better than some Sunday School marms I could mention. She risked her own life many times to nurse people deathly ill with smallpox. She was a woman who feared nothing. She wouldn't run from the devil himself."

Eventually, Calamity Jane and Wild Bill were buried side by side on a cemetery hill overlooking Deadwood and each summer thousands of tourists climb the steps to peer down on their lonely graves. Pulp writers still romanticize their strange and tragic "love affair." It's a story which refuses to die.


Jean Hickok McCormick

The saga of Jean Hickock is even more astounding. The stagecoach that carried her east from Deadwood that morning began the long journey to the home of Cole Younger's wife in Maryland. Cole, who had once married Jesse James' sister, Rebecca, was a member in good standing in "the James gang." And so, Jean a 71-year-old woman identifying herself as Jean Hickock McCormick appeared from the long- forgotten shadows of the past and stepped into the editorial offices of the BillingsMontana, Gazette in 1941.

Now is it true? Who knows? But my guess based upon much study is that it is more true than the history penned today, and certainly more so than the many authors who have glorified this seemingly worthless douche bag…

(The Black Book)
Jesse James was one of his Names