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Wild West

Wild West December 2019

Wild West Magazine presents the great American frontier from its beginnings to today. America’s western frontier has been a vital part of the country’s myths and reality, from the earliest exploration beyond the territory of the first colonies, to the wide expanses of the western prairies and deserts. Experience the old west and cowboys and Indians from top historical writers. Wild West brings to life the fascinating history, lore and culture of the great American frontier.

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United States
6 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
saving buffalo

The wholesale slaughter of millions of bison on the 19th-century Plains rates as a Wild West horror story. The saving of the woolly beasts from extinction by a few good men and women toward the end of the 1800s constitutes a feel-good story. In this issue David McCormick relates the latter tale, which is bound to please fans of the mighty bison as well as conservationists everywhere. But it is worth taking another quick look at their near extinction, mainly because so many people still believe Buffalo Bill Cody and his ilk were solely responsible for the dirty deed. Two decades ago Western environmental history professor Dan Flores published articles in Wild West (his award-winning feature “When the Buffalo Roamed” appeared in April 1997) and other publications suggesting that while white…

1 min.
visit our website for online extras

‘Buffalo Jones’ Killed Many Buffalo, But Then Became a Preservationist Like any hide hunter worth his salt, Charles Jesse Jones wanted to slaughter as many bison as he could as quickly as he could. But as writer J.R. Sanders relates, this hunter had a change of heart and found his true calling—preservation of the big beasts. More About Glenna Goodacre The Santa Fe–based sculptor, best known for designing the obverse of the Sacagawea dollar, was named a “Notable New Mexican” by the Albuquerque Museum Foundation and is a National Cowgirl Hall of Fame inductee. Extended Interview With Mark J. Nelson The award-winning biographer of Captain William Philo Clark (1845–84) has plenty to say about that Old Army renaissance man, who was at times an Indian fighter, explorer and ethnologist, not to mention author of The…

4 min.

JACK McCALL I enjoyed the August 2019 feature article “The Coward Who Shot Wild Bill,” on Deadwood badman Jack McCall, by Wild Bill Hickok biographer Aaron Woodard. I recently reviewed Woodard’s book The Revenger: The Life and Times of Wild Bill Hickok for The Tombstone Epitaph and found the study to be a valuable addition to the Hickok story, especially as it pertains to McCall. Readers may be interested to know that Yankton, S.D., monument sculptor Scott Luken recently erected a monument to McCall in the Sacred Heart Cemetery near the border with the Yankton City Cemetery. During the creation of the McCall monument the Archdiocese of Omaha wanted some input into the monument’s design, as it would be sitting in a Catholic cemetery. The Catholic leaders opted to have a…

9 min.
10 things to know about the creek indians

1 Jackson’s Near Miss: Andrew Jackson almost missed the Creek War after engaging in a reckless gunfight with rivals Jesse and Thomas Hart Benton in Nashville’s City Hotel on Sept. 4, 1813. When Jackson moved to beat Tom with his riding whip, he was shot through the left shoulder by Jesse. As he fell, he fired his pistol at Tom but missed. Jackson was left severely wounded, his arm in a sling for most of the war. Tom Benton and Jackson met again as senators in 1823 and reconciled. 2 No Mutiny for Davy: Davy Crockett did not participate in the infamous mutiny against Jackson, as portrayed in the Disney film, but he did refuse to return to service after having returned home to refit. He later re-enlisted, in hopes of…

1 min.
robber’s grave

Thomas Edward “Black Jack” Ketchum was the more infamous train robber, but older brother Samuel Wesley Ketchum held his own, criminally speaking, until July 16, 1899. That’s when lawmen ambushed the Ketchum gang (minus Black Jack) at Turkey Creek Canyon, just west of Cimarron, New Mexico Territory (see “Tom Ketchum and His Gang” in the December 2001 Wild West or online at HistoryNet.com). A sheriff and a posseman were killed in the gunfight. The seriously wounded Sam Ketchum and two other gang members got away, but Sam was captured a few days later and taken to the New Mexico Territorial Penitentiary hospital in Santa Fe for treatment—too late. Gangrene had taken over, and the 45-year-old died on July 24, 1899, leaving a widow and two children. “Samuel’s grave is at…

1 min.

Poncho Via, a 7-year-old Texas Longhorn from Alabama, became a Guinness World Record holder in late spring 2019 thanks to his horns, which by then measured 10 feet 7.4 inches from tip to tip. The steer has certainly measured up to the expectations of the Pope family, who have raised Poncho (whose name is a takeoff on that of Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa) from a weanling on their Green Acres ranch in Goodwater, southeast of Birmingham. His horn span beats that of the previous record holder—Sato, of Texas—by little more than an inch. Described by his owners as a “big, gentle character,” Poncho holds the title for largest horn spread not only on a living steer but also on any known steer that has ever lived, including all those Texas…