This Week in Old West History - November 5
CowboySpirit.TV - We’ve got some great old west historical notes for you today, including the birth of one of the defining screen cowboys and a surprisingly storied day in the history of Colorado!
1911: A true legend of western cinema was born today: Leonard Franklin Slye, better known to you and me as Roy Rogers, the King of Cowboys. Across his illustrious career of over a hundred films, Rogers and his wife Dale Evans become true pop culture heroes, forever defining an era of western film.
1908: For a moment there, they thought they were in trouble. Today is most likely the anniversary of the famous deaths of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid at the hands of the Bolivian army, although stories still circulate of them surviving and living in secret retirement into the 1930s.
1876: On this day, Texas authorities arrested George Gladden and the infamous old west outlaw Johnny Ringo for the murder of Charley Bader. In the process, they effectively ended the Mason County War in Texas, which petered out once these gunmen ceased fanning the flames.
1861: Today is an important one for the great city of Denver, Colorado. It was officially incorporated on this day in 1861, although it was originally known as Denver City. Interestingly, twenty years later to the day, a popular vote made it the Capitol of Colorado in 1881. Another twelve years later, again on November 8, women in Colorado received the right to vote.
1880: Today, famed old west lawman and gunslinger Wyatt Earp officially resigned as the deputy Sheriff of Pima County in the Arizona territory, which included Tombstone. An accidental shooting which hurt an innocent bystander led to him rapidly leaving the position. (And it’s a shame, since the deputy Sheriff doubled as county tax collector... and got to keep 10% of the take.)
1871: This was historic day for the Arizona Territory, as Nathan Bowers became the first person to claim a homestead within the territory. Unfortunately, history does not remember what he did with it or what became of him.
1873: Today, a moderately well-known Kansas gunman named Edward T. “Red” Beard finally died more than two agonized weeks after being shot by the better-known “Rowdy” Joe Lowe. Unfortunately, in the real old west, those shot didn’t always die cleanly in the street.