April 25, 2014

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Old West
A very unpleasant railroad trip PDF Print E-mail

We’ve all seen movies where at least one scene has a stagecoach with passengers traveling across the plains. The scene, no matter how harsh, didn’t truly portray the hardships of cross-country stage travel.
On September 15, 1858 the first transcontinental mail service started between St. Louis and San Francisco. The stage company providing the service was the Overland Mail Company, headed by John Butterfield. The government was providing a yearly subsidy of $600,000, providing the mail could be delivered in 25 days. Butterfield had his stages scheduled to make it in 24 days.

A two-week reign of terror PDF Print E-mail

This week’s story is about a gang that lasted only thirteen days. But during those thirteen days, they cut a swath of carnage matched by no other gang.
Rufus Buck was a Ute Indian living in the Indian Territory.  His gang comprised of four Creek Indians and a combination Creek and black. All of them had served time in jail for minor offenses.

Famous outlaws abound in every state PDF Print E-mail

Different areas have their Old West outlaw heroes. Jessie James is Missouri’s. New Mexico has Billy the Kid. And then there is Utah’s Butch Cassidy. As for Texas, it’s Sam Bass.
On Texas cattle drives, many a cowboy calmed the cattle at night by singing, “The Ballad of Sam Bass.” It seems that, although Sam Bass led a gang that robbed and killed, Sam was a likable guy who just enjoyed the excitement of what he was doing.

To chance or not to chance PDF Print E-mail

On July 14, 1881 one of the Old West’s most famous outlaws was killed. We all know the story of his death. But we’ll take a look at it anyway…If for no other reason than to review what happened.
Pat Garrett killed Billy the Kid. And, as the story goes, he did it in a cowardly way. We’re going to review the events of the evening, and then let you decide what you would have done.


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