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Wild Bill Hickok
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 work across

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For the American football player and industrialist, see Bill Hickok (American football). For other uses of "Wild Bill", see Wild Bill (disambiguation).

"Wild Bill" HickokJames Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok, photograph date unknownBornJames Butler Hickok
(1837-05-27)May 27, 1837
Homer, LaSalle County, Illinois (present-day Troy Grove)DiedAugust 2, 1876(1876-08-02) (aged 39)
Deadwood, Lawrence County, Dakota Territory (present-day Deadwood, South Dakota)Cause of deathMurder by shootingResting placeMount Moriah Cemetery, Deadwood, Dakota TerritoryOther namesJames B. Hickok, J.B. Hickok, Shanghai Bill, William Hickok, William HaycockOccupationfarmer, vigilante, drover, teamster, wagon master, stagecoach driver, soldier, spy, scout, detective, lawman, gunfighter, gambler, showman, performer, actorParent(s)William Alonzo Hickok and Polly Butler

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 work across the frontier as a drover, wagon master, soldier, spy, scout, lawman, gunfighter, gambler, showman, and actor. He earned a great deal of notoriety in his own time, much of it bolstered by the many outlandish and often fabricated tales that he told about his life. Some contemporaneous reports of his exploits are known to be fictitious, but they remain the basis of much of his fame and reputation, along with his own stories.

Hickok was born and raised on a farm in northern Illinois at a time when lawlessness and vigilante activity were rampant because of the influence of the "Banditti of the Prairie". Hickok was drawn to this ruffian lifestyle and headed west at age 18 as a fugitive from justice, working as a stagecoach driver and later as a lawman in the frontier territories of Kansas and Nebraska. He fought and spied for the Union Army during the American Civil War and gained publicity after the war as a scout, marksman, actor, and professional gambler. Over the course of his life, he was involved in several notable shoot-outs.

In 1876, Hickok was shot from behind 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 which he supposedly held at the time of his death has become known as the dead man's hand: two pairs, aces and eights.

Hickok remains a popular figure in 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, though historical accounts of his actions are often controversial and most of his career was exaggerated by both himself and various mythmakers. While Hickok claimed to have killed numerous named and unnamed gunmen in his lifetime, according to Joseph G. Rosa, Hickok's biographer and the foremost authority on Wild Bill, Hickok killed only six or seven men in gunfights.[1][2]

  • 1 Early life
    • 1.1 Nicknames
  • 2 Early career
    • 2.1 Mauled by a bear
    • 2.2 McCanles shooting
    • 2.3 Civil War service
  • 3 Lawman and scout
    • 3.1 Duel with Davis Tutt
    • 3.2 Deputy U.S. marshal in Kansas
    • 3.3 Killings of Native Americans
    • 3.4 Move to Hays, Kansas
    • 3.5 Work as a scout
    • 3.6 Marshal of Hays, Kansas
    • 3.7 Killings as sheriff
    • 3.8 Marshal of Abilene, Kansas
    • 3.9 Attempt at arrest of Hardin
    • 3.10 Shootout with Phil Coe
  • 4 Later life
  • 5 Marriages
  • 6 Death
    • 6.1 Jack McCall's two trials
    • 6.2 Dead man's hand
    • 6.3 Burial
    • 6.4 Notable nearby graves
  • 7 Pistols known to have been carried by Hickok
  • 8 In popular culture
    • 8.1 Films
    • 8.2 Television
    • 8.3 Memorials and honorable distinctions
  • 9 References
    • 9.1 Works cited
  • 10 External links
Early life

James Butler Hickok was born May 27, 1837, in Homer, Illinois, (present-day Troy Grove, Illinois) to William Alonzo Hickok, a farmer and abolitionist, and his wife Polly Butler.[3] His father was said to have used the family house, now demolished, as a station on the Underground Railroad.[4]

Hickok was the fourth of six children. William Hickok died in 1852, when James was 15.[5]

Hickok was a good shot from a young age and was recognized locally as an outstanding marksman with a pistol.[6]

Photographs of Hickok appear to depict dark hair, but all contemporaneous descriptions affirm that it was red. (Reddish shades of hair appear black in early photographic processes because of their sensitivity, primarily to blue light.)[7]

In 1855, at age 18, James Hickok fled Illinois following a fight with Charles Hudson, during which both fell into a canal (each thought, mistakenly, that he had killed the other). Hickok moved to Leavenworth in the Kansas Territory, where he joined "General" Jim Lane's Free State Army (also known as the Jayhawkers), a vigilante group active in the new territory.[8] While a Jayhawker, he met 12-year-old William Cody (later known as Buffalo Bill), who despite his youth served as a scout just two years later for the U.S. Army during the Utah War.[9]

Nicknames James B. Hickok, in the 1860s, during his pre-gunfighter days

While in Nebraska, James Hickok was derisively referred to as "Duck Bill" for his long nose and protruding lips.[10][11] He grew a moustache following the McCanles incident and in 1861 began calling himself Wild Bill.[12][13] He was also known before 1861 by Jayhawkers as "Shanghai Bill" because of his height and slim build.[14]

Hickok used his late brother's name, William Hickok, from 1858 and the name William Haycock during the Civil War. Most newspapers referred to him as William Haycock until 1869. He was arrested while using the name Haycock in 1865. He afterward resumed using his given name, James Hickok. Military records after 1865 list him as Hickok but note that he was also known as Haycock.[15][16] In an 1867 article about his shoot-out with Davis Tutt, his surname was misspelled as Hitchcock.[17]

Early career Mauled by a bear

In 1857, Hickok claimed a 160-acre (65-ha) tract in Johnson County, Kansas (near present-day Lenexa).[18] On March 22, 1858, he was elected one of the first four constables of Monticello Township. In 1859, he joined the Russell, Majors and Waddell freight company, the parent company of the Pony Express.

In 1860, he was badly injured by a bear while driving a freight team from Independence, Missouri to Santa Fe, New Mexico. According to Hickok's account, he found the road blocked by a cinnamon bear and its two cubs. Dismounting, he approached the bear and fired a shot into its head, but the bullet ricocheted off its skull, infuriating it. The bear attacked, crushing Hickok with its body. Hickok managed to fire another shot, wounding the bear's paw. The bear then grabbed his arm in its mouth, but Hickok was able to grab his knife and slash its throat, killing it.

Hickok was severely injured, with a crushed chest, shoulder and arm. He was bedridden for four months before being sent to Rock Creek Station in the Nebraska Territory to work as a stable hand while he recovered. The freight company had built the stagecoach stop along the Oregon Trail near Fairbury, Nebraska, on land purchased from David McCanles.[19]

McCanles shooting Main article: McCanles Gang David C. McCanles, alleged leader of the McCanles Gang, in 1860

On July 12, 1861, David McCanles went to the Rock Creek Station office to demand an overdue property payment from Horace Wellman, the station manager. McCanles reportedly threatened Wellman, and either Hickok (who was hiding behind a curtain) or Wellman killed him.[20][21] Hickok, Wellman, and another employee, J.W. Brink, were tried for killing McCanles but were found to have acted in self-defense. McCanles may have been the first man Hickok killed.[20] Hickok subsequently visited McCanles' widow, apologized for the killing, and offered her $35 in restitution, all the money he had with him at the time.[notes 1]

Civil War service

After the Civil War broke out in April 1861, James Hickok became a teamster for the Union Army in Sedalia, Missouri. 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.

In late 1863 he worked for the provost marshal of southwest Missouri as a member of the Springfield detective police. His work included identifying and counting the number of troops in uniform who were drinking while on duty, verifying hotel liquor licenses, and tracking down individuals who owed money to the cash-strapped Union Army.[citation needed]

Buffalo Bill claimed that he encountered Hickok disguised as a Confederate officer in Missouri in 1864.[22][23]:136 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.[22] The 1883 History of Greene County, Missouri described him as "by nature a ruffian ... a drunken, swaggering fellow, who delighted when 'on a spree' to frighten nervous men and timid women."[24]

Lawman and scout Duel with Davis Tutt Main article: Wild Bill Hickok – Davis Tutt shootout The Hickok–Tutt shootout, in an 1867 illustration accompanying the article by Nichols in Harper's magazine

While in Springfield, Hickok and a local gambler named Davis Tutt had several disagreements over unpaid gambling debts and their mutual affection for the same women. Hickok lost a gold watch to Tutt in a poker game. The watch had great sentimental value to Hickok and he asked Tutt not to wear it in public. They initially agreed not to fight over the watch, but when Hickok saw Tutt wearing it, he warned him to stay away. On July 21, 1865, the two men faced off in Springfield's town square, standing sideways before drawing and firing their weapons. Their quick-draw duel was recorded as the first of its kind.[25] Tutt's shot missed, but Hickok's struck Tutt through the heart from about 75 yards (69 m) away. Tutt called out, "Boys, I'm killed" before he collapsed and died.[26][27]

Two days later, Hickok was arrested for murder. The charge was later reduced to manslaughter. He was released on $2,000 bail and stood trial on August 3, 1865. At the end of the trial, Judge Sempronius H. Boyd told the jury they could not find Hickok acted in self-defense if he could have reasonably avoided the fight.[notes 2] However, if they felt the threat of danger was real and imminent, he instructed they could apply the unwritten law of the "fair fight" and acquit.[notes 3] The jury voted to clear Hickok, resulting in public backlash and criticism of the verdict.[28]

Several weeks later, an interview Hickok gave to Colonel George Ward Nichols, a journalist known as the creator of the Hickok legend,[29] was published in Harper's New Monthly Magazine. Under the name "Wild Bill Hitchcock" [sic], the article recounted the "hundreds" of men whom Hickok had personally killed and other exaggerated exploits.[17] The article was controversial wherever Hickok was known, and several frontier newspapers wrote rebuttals.[citation needed]

Deputy U.S. marshal in Kansas

In September 1865, Hickok came in second in the election for city marshal of Springfield. Leaving Springfield, he was recommended for the position of deputy federal marshal at Fort Riley, Kansas. This was during the Indian Wars, in which Hickok sometimes served as a scout for General George A. Custer's 7th Cavalry.[9]

In 1865, Hickok recruited six Indians and three cowboys to accompany him to Niagara Falls, where he put on an outdoor demonstration called The Daring Buffalo Chasers of the Plains.[5] Since the event was outdoors, he could not compel people to pay, and the venture was a financial failure.[30]:34 The show featured six buffalo, a bear and a monkey and one show ended in disaster when a buffalo refused to act, prompting Hickok to fire a bullet in the sky. This angered the buffalo and panicked audience members, causing the animals to break free of their wire fencing and chase audience members, some of which were trampled[31]. The incident helped contribute to the overall failure of the show.

Killings of Native Americans

Hickok was reported by some[by whom?] to be "an inveterate hater of Indians", perhaps to enhance his reputation as a scout and Indian fighter, but it is difficult to separate fact from fiction considering his recruitment of Native Americans to cross the nation in order to appear in his own Wild West show.[5] Witnesses confirm that while working as a scout at Fort Harker, Kansas, on May 11, 1867, he was attacked by a large group of Indians, who fled after he shot and killed two. In July, Hickok told a newspaper reporter that he had led several soldiers in pursuit of Indians who had killed four men near the fort on July 2. He reported returning with five prisoners after killing ten. Witnesses confirm that the story was true to the extent the party had set out to find whoever had killed the four men,[notes 4] but the group returned to the fort "without nary a dead Indian, even seeing a live one".[32][33]

Move to Hays, Kansas

In December 1867, newspapers reported that Hickok had come to stay in Hays City, Kansas. He became a Deputy U.S. marshal, and on March 28, 1868, he picked up eleven Union Army deserters who had been charged with stealing government property. Hickok was assigned to bring the men to Topeka for trial, and he requested a military escort from Fort Hays. He was assigned William F. Cody, a sergeant, and five privates. They arrived in Topeka on April 2. Hickok remained in Hays through August 1868, when he brought 200 Cheyenne Indians to Hays to be viewed by "excursionists".[34]

Work as a scout

On September 1, Hickok was in Lincoln County, Kansas, where he was hired as a scout by the 10th Cavalry Regiment, a segregated African-American unit. On September 4, Hickok was wounded in the foot while rescuing several cattlemen in the Bijou Creek Basin who had been surrounded by Indians. The 10th Regiment arrived at Fort Lyon in Colorado in October and remained there for the rest of 1868.[34]

Marshal of Hays, Kansas Wild Bill Hickok in 1869; the unsheathed knife is likely a photographer's prop.

In July 1869, Hickok returned to Hays and was elected city marshal of Hays and sheriff of Ellis County, Kansas, in a special election held on August 23, 1869.[35] Three sheriffs had quit during the previous 18 months. Hickok may have been acting sheriff before he was elected; a newspaper reported that he arrested offenders on August 18, and the commander of Fort Hays wrote a letter to the assistant adjutant general on August 21 in which he praised Hickok for his work in apprehending deserters.[notes 5]

The regular county election was held on November 2, 1869, and Hickok, running as an independent, lost to his deputy, Peter Lanihan, running as a Democrat, but Hickok and Lanihan remained sheriff and deputy, respectively. Hickok accused a J.V. Macintosh of irregularities and misconduct during the election. On December 9, Hickok and Lanihan both served legal papers on Macintosh, and local newspapers acknowledged that Hickok had guardianship of Hays City.[36]:196

Killings as sheriff Hickok's star on the Texas Trail of Fame in the Fort Worth Stockyards, Texas

In September 1869, his first month as sheriff, Hickok killed two men. The first was Bill Mulvey, who was rampaging through town, drunk, shooting out mirrors and whisky bottles behind bars. Citizens warned Mulvey to behave, because Hickok was sheriff. Mulvey angrily declared that he had come to town to kill Hickok. When he saw Hickok, he leveled his cocked rifle at him. Hickok waved his hand past Mulvey at some onlookers and yelled, "Don't shoot him in the back; he is drunk." Mulvey wheeled his horse around to face those who might shoot him from behind, and before he realized he had been fooled, Hickok shot him through the temple.[9][37]

The second killed by Hickok was Samuel Strawhun, a cowboy, who was causing a disturbance at 1 a.m. in a saloon on September 27 when Hickok and Lanihan went to the scene.[25] Strawhun "made remarks against Hickok," and Hickok killed him with a shot through the head. Hickok said he had "tried to restore order". At the coroner's inquest into Strawhun's death, despite "very contradictory" evidence from witnesses, the jury found the shooting justifiable.[36]:192

On July 17, 1870, Hickok was attacked by two troopers from the 7th U.S. Cavalry, Jeremiah Lonergan and John Kyle (sometimes spelled Kile[notes 6]), in a saloon. Lonergan pinned Hickok to the ground, and Kyle put his gun to Hickok's ear. When Kyle's weapon misfired, Hickok shot Lonergan, wounding him in the knee, and shot Kyle twice, killing him. Hickok was not re-elected to office.

Marshal of Abilene, Kansas

On April 15, 1871, Hickok became marshal of Abilene, Kansas. He replaced Tom "Bear River" Smith, who had been killed on November 2, 1870.[38]

John Wesley Hardin, a well-known gunfighter, who was known to have killed at least 27 men. In his autobiography, Hardin made the unlikely claim that while surrendering his guns to the lawman due to a local ordinance, he had once disarmed Town Marshal "Wild Bill" Hickok with the use of "the road agent's spin."

The outlaw John Wesley Hardin arrived in Abilene at the end of a cattle drive in early 1871. Hardin was a well-known gunfighter and is known to have killed more than 27 men.[39] In his 1895 autobiography, published after his death, Hardin claimed to have been befriended by Hickok, the newly elected town marshal, after he had disarmed the marshal using the road agent's spin.[40] However, Hardin was known to exaggerate.[40] In any case, Hardin appeared to have thought highly of Hickok.[41]

Hickok later said he did not know that "Wesley Clemmons" was Hardin's alias and that he was a wanted outlaw. He told Clemmons (Hardin) to stay out of trouble in Abilene and asked him to hand over his guns, and Hardin complied.[42] Hardin claimed that when his cousin, Mannen Clements, was jailed for killing two cowhands, he persuaded Hickok to arrange for his escape.[43]

Attempt at arrest of Hardin

In August 1871, "Wild Bill" Hickok sought to arrest Hardin for killing Charles Couger in an Abilene hotel "for snoring too loud". Hardin left Kansas before Hickok could arrest him[44]:45–58[45] A newspaper reported, "A man was killed in his bed at a hotel in Abilene, Monday night, by a desperado called 'Arkansas'. The murderer escaped. This was his sixth murder."[46]

Shootout with Phil Coe

Hickok and Phil Coe, a saloon owner and acquaintance of Hardin's, had a dispute that resulted in a shootout. The Bull's Head Saloon in Abilene had been established by the gambler Ben Thompson and Coe, his partner, businessman and fellow gambler.[47][48] The two entrepreneurs had painted a picture of a bull with a large erect penis on the side of their establishment as an advertisement. Citizens of the town complained to Hickok,[48] who requested that Thompson and Coe remove the bull. They refused, so Hickok altered it himself. Infuriated, Thompson tried to incite John Wesley Hardin to kill Hickok, by exclaiming to Hardin that "He's a damn Yankee. Picks on rebels, especially Texans, to kill." Hardin was in town under his assumed name Wesley Clemmons but was better known to the townspeople by the alias Little Arkansas. He seemed to have respect for Hickok's abilities and replied, "If Bill needs killing why don't you kill him yourself?"[44] Hoping to intimidate Hickok, Coe allegedly stated that he could "kill a crow on the wing". Hickok's retort is one of the West's most famous sayings (though possibly apocryphal): "Did the crow have a pistol? Was he shooting back? I will be."

On October 5, 1871, Hickok was standing off a crowd during a street brawl when Coe fired two shots. Hickok ordered him to be arrested for firing a pistol within the city limits. Coe claimed that he was shooting at a stray dog, and then suddenly turned his gun on Hickok, who fired first and killed Coe.[49] Hickok caught a glimpse of someone running toward him and quickly fired two more shots in reaction, accidentally shooting and killing Abilene Special Deputy Marshal Mike Williams, who was coming to his aid.[50] This event haunted Hickok for the remainder of his life.[51] There is another account of the Coe shootout: Theophilus Little, the mayor of Abilene and owner of the town's lumber yard, recorded his time in Abilene by writing in a notebook which was ultimately given to the Abilene Historical Society. Writing in 1911, he detailed his admiration of Hickok and included a paragraph on the shooting that differs considerably from the reported account:

.mw-parser-output .templatequote{overflow:hidden;margin:1em 0;padding:0 40px}.mw-parser-output .templatequote .templatequotecite{line-height:1.5em;text-align:left;padding-left:1.6em;margin-top:0}

"Phil" Coe was from Texas, ran the "Bull's Head" a saloon and gambling den, sold whiskey and men's souls. As vile a character as I ever met for some cause Wild Bill incurred Coe's hatred and he vowed to secure the death of the marshal. Not having the courage to do it himself, he one day filled about 200 cowboys with whiskey intending to get them into trouble with Wild Bill, hoping that they would get to shooting and in the melee shoot the marshal. But Coe "reckoned without his host". Wild Bill had learned of the scheme and cornered Coe, had his two pistols drawn on Coe. Just as he pulled the trigger one of the policemen rushed around the corner between Coe and the pistols and both balls entered his body, killing him instantly. In an instant, he pulled the triggers again sending two bullets into Coe's abdomen (Coe lived a day or two) and whirling with his two guns drawn on the drunken crowd of cowboys, "and now do any of you fellows want the rest of these bullets?" Not a word was uttered.[52]

Hickok was relieved of his duties as marshal less than two months after accidentally killing Deputy Williams, this incident being only one of a series of questionable shootings and claims of misconduct.[6]

Later life Hickok, Texas Jack Omohundro, and Buffalo Bill Cody as the "Scouts of the Plains" in 1873

In 1873, Buffalo Bill Cody and Texas Jack Omohundro invited Hickok to join their troupe after their earlier success.[23]:329 Hickok did not enjoy acting, and often hid behind scenery. In one show he shot the spotlight when it focused on him. He was released from the group after a few months.[53]

In 1876, Hickok was diagnosed by a doctor in Kansas City, Missouri, with glaucoma and ophthalmia.[citation needed] Although he was just 39, his marksmanship and health were apparently in decline, and he had been arrested several times for vagrancy,[54] despite earning a good income from gambling and displays of showmanship only a few years earlier.


Martha Jane Cannary, known popularly as Calamity Jane, claimed in her autobiography that she was married to Hickok and had divorced him so he could be free to marry Agnes Lake, but no records have been found that support her account.[55] The two possibly met for the first time after Jane was released from the guardhouse in Fort Laramie and joined the wagon train in which Hickok was traveling. The wagon train arrived in Deadwood in July 1876.[56] Jane confirmed this account in an 1896 newspaper interview, although she claimed she had been hospitalized with illness rather than in the guardhouse.

On March 5, 1876, Hickok married Agnes Thatcher Lake, a 50-year-old circus proprietor in Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory. Hickok left his new bride a few months later, joining Charlie Utter's wagon train to seek his fortune in the goldfields of South Dakota.[9]

A rare tintype of Hickok, circa 1870, found with the last letter he wrote to his wife, Agnes Thatcher Lake

Shortly before Hickok's death, he wrote a letter to his new wife, which read in part, "Agnes Darling, if such should be we never meet again, while firing my last shot, I will gently breathe the name of my wife—Agnes—and with wishes even for my enemies I will make the plunge and try to swim to the other shore."[57]


On August 1, 1876, Hickok was playing poker at Nuttal & Mann's Saloon 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.[58]

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.[59]

McCall entered the saloon, walked up behind Hickok, drew his Colt Model 1873 Single Action Army .45-caliber revolver, and shouted, "Damn you! Take that!" He shot Hickok in the back of the head at point-blank range.[60] Hickok died instantly. The bullet emerged through Hickok's right cheek and struck another player, riverboat Captain William Massie, in the left wrist.[61][62] 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.[63]

Jack McCall's two trials Jack McCall shot Hickok in the back of the head The card hand held by Hickok at his death, now widely known as the "dead man's hand"

McCall's motive for killing Hickok is the subject of speculation, largely concerning McCall's anger at Hickok's having given him money for breakfast the day before, after McCall had lost heavily.[64][65]

McCall was summoned before an informal "miners' jury" (an ad hoc local group of miners and businessmen). McCall claimed he was avenging Hickok's earlier slaying of his brother, which may have been true. (A man named Lew McCall was killed by an unknown lawman in Abilene, Kansas, but it is not known if the two McCall men were related.)[65] McCall was acquitted of the murder, which prompted editorializing in the Black Hills Pioneer: "Should it ever be our misfortune to kill a man ... we would simply ask that our trial may take place in some of the mining camps of these hills." Calamity Jane was reputed to have led a mob that threatened McCall with lynching, but at the time of Hickok's death, Jane was being held by military authorities.[66]

After bragging about killing Hickok, McCall was re-arrested. The second trial was not considered double jeopardy because of the irregular jury in the first trial and because Deadwood was in Indian country. The new trial was held in Yankton, the capital of the Dakota Territory. Hickok's brother, Lorenzo Butler, traveled from Illinois to attend the retrial. McCall was found guilty and sentenced to death.

Leander Richardson, a reporter, interviewed McCall shortly before his execution and wrote an article about him for the April 1877 issue of Scribner's Monthly. Butler spoke with McCall after the trial and said McCall showed no remorse.[67]

As I write the closing lines of this brief sketch, word reaches me that the slayer of Wild Bill has been rearrested by the United State authorities, and after trial has been sentenced to death for willful murder. He is now at Yankton, D.T. awaiting execution. At the trial it was suggested that was hired to do his work by gamblers who feared the time when better citizens should appoint Bill the champion of law and order – a post which he formerly sustained in Kansas border life, with credit to his manhood and his courage.[notes 7][67]

Jack McCall was hanged on March 1, 1877 and buried in a Roman Catholic cemetery. The cemetery was moved in 1881, and when McCall's body was exhumed, the noose was found still around his neck.[68]

Dead man's hand Main article: Dead man's hand

Hickok was playing five-card stud when he was shot. He was holding two pairs: black aces and black eights as his "up cards". The identity of the fifth card (his "hole card") is the subject of debate.[notes 8]


Charlie Utter, Hickok's friend and companion, claimed Hickok's body and placed a notice in the local newspaper, the Black Hills Pioneer, which read:

Died in Deadwood, Black Hills, August 2, 1876, from the effects of a pistol shot, J. B. Hickock [sic] (Wild Bill) formerly of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Funeral services will be held at Charlie Utter's Camp, on Thursday afternoon, August 3, 1876, at 3 o'clock P. M. All are respectfully invited to attend.

Almost the entire town attended the funeral, and Utter had Hickok buried with a wooden grave marker reading:

Wild Bill, J. B. Hickock [sic] killed by the assassin Jack McCall in Deadwood, Black Hills, August 2, 1876. Pard, we will meet again in the happy hunting ground to part no more. Good bye, Colorado Charlie, C. H. Utter.

Steve and Charlie Utter at Hickok's grave, photograph date unknown

Hickok is known to have fatally shot six men and is suspected of having killed a seventh (McCanles). Despite his reputation,[69] Hickok was buried in the Ingelside Cemetery, Deadwood's original graveyard. This cemetery filled quickly, and in 1879, on the third anniversary of his original burial, Utter paid to move Hickok's remains to the new Mount Moriah Cemetery.[notes 9] Utter supervised the move and noted that, while perfectly preserved, Hickok had been imperfectly embalmed. As a result, calcium carbonate from the surrounding soil had replaced the flesh, leading to petrifaction. One of the workers, Joseph McLintock, wrote a detailed description of the re-interment. McLintock used a cane to tap the body, face, and head, finding no soft tissue anywhere. He noted that the sound was similar to tapping a brick wall, and believed the remains to weigh more than 400 lb (180 kg). William Austin, the cemetery caretaker, estimated 500 lb (230 kg), which made it difficult for the men to carry the remains to the new site. The original wooden grave marker was moved to the new site, but by 1891 it had been destroyed by souvenir hunters whittling pieces from it, and it was replaced with a statue. This, in turn, was destroyed by souvenir hunters and replaced in 1902 by a life-sized sandstone sculpture of Hickok. This, too, was badly defaced, and was then enclosed in a cage for protection. The enclosure was cut open by souvenir hunters in the 1950s, and the statue was removed.[70]

Calamity Jane at Wild Bill Hickok's Gravesite, Deadwood, Dakota Territory.

Hickok is currently interred in a ten-foot (3 m) square plot at the Mount Moriah Cemetery, surrounded by a cast-iron fence, with a U.S. flag flying nearby.[71] A monument has been built there.

Notable nearby graves

It has been reported that Calamity Jane was buried next to him, according to her dying wish. Four of the men on the self-appointed committee who planned Calamity's funeral (Albert Malter, Frank Ankeney, Jim Carson, and Anson Higby) later stated that, since Hickok had "absolutely no use" for Jane in this life, they decided to play a posthumous joke on him by laying her to rest by his side.[72] Potato Creek Johnny, a local Deadwood celebrity from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is also buried next to Wild Bill.[73]

Pistols known to have been carried by Hickok

Hickok's favorite guns were a pair of Colt 1851 Navy Model (.36 caliber) cap-and-ball revolvers. They had ivory grips and nickel plating and were ornately engraved with "J.B. Hickok–1869" on the backstrap.[74] He wore his revolvers butt-forward in a belt or sash (when wearing city clothes or buckskins, respectively), and seldom used holsters per se; he drew the pistols using a "reverse", "twist" or cavalry draw, as would a cavalryman.[9]

At the time of his death Hickok was wearing a Smith & Wesson Model 2 Army Revolver, a newly released five-shot, single-action 38 cal. weapon. Bonhams auction company offered this pistol at auction on November 18, 2013, in San Francisco, California,[75] described as Hickok's Smith & Wesson No. 2, serial number 29963, a .32 rimfire with a six-inch barrel, blued finish and varnished rosewood grips. The gun did not sell because the highest bid of $220,000 was less than the reserve set by the gun's owners.[76]

In popular culture

Hickok has remained one of the most popular and iconic figures of the American Old West and is still frequently depicted in popular culture, including literature, film, and television.

Films Main article: List of cultural depictions of Wild Bill Hickok

Paramount Pictures' Western silent film Wild Bill Hickok (released on November 18, 1923) was directed by Clifford Smith and stars William S. Hart as Hickok.[77][78] A print of the film is maintained in the Museum of Modern Art film archive.[79]

The movie The Plainsman (1936), starring Gary Cooper as Wild Bill Hickok, features the relationship between Buffalo Bill and Calamity Jane as its main plot line. It is a loose adaptation of J. B. Hickok's life ending with his infamous aces and eights card hand.

The White Buffalo (1977), starring Charles Bronson as Wild Bill Hickok, tells a tale of Hickok's hunt for murderous White Buffalo, that follows him in his nightmares.

A highly fictional film account of Hickok's later years and death, titled Wild Bill (released on December 18, 1995), stars Jeff Bridges as James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok and David Arquette as Jack McCall, and was written and directed by Walter Hill. The film received mixed reviews, and currently holds a 5.9 rating on the Internet Movie Database[80] and a 41% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[81]

A semi-fictionalized version of Hickok's time as Marshal of Abilene Kansas, titled Hickok (released on July 7, 2017), stars Luke Hemsworth as James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok, Trace Adkins as the Bulls Head saloonkeeper Phil Coe, Kris Kristofferson as Abilene mayor George Knox, and Kaiwi Lyman-Mersereau as John Wesley Hardin. It was written by Michael Lanahan and directed by Timothy Woodward Jr.


A Screen Gems television series, The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok, with Guy Madison in the starring role and Andy Devine as sidekick Pete "Jingles" Jones, ran for eight seasons from 1951 through 1958, first in syndication and then on CBS for the last three seasons.

Two actors portray Hickok on the syndicated anthology series, Death Valley Days. Charles Carlson was cast in the 1962 episode, "The Truth Teller", which focuses on the Medicine Lodge Treaty of 1867.[82] Rhodes Reason portrays Hickok in "A Calamity Called Jane", in which Calamity and Hickok argue over her masculine wardrobe and manners. The segment concludes with Hickok's assassination by Jack McCall in a saloon in Deadwood.[83]

In episodes 1-4 of the HBO dramatic television series Deadwood, which aired from 2004 to 2006, Hickok, portrayed by Keith Carradine, is shown arriving in Deadwood with Charlie Utter and Calamity Jane, with the Deadwood camp inhabitants aware of Hickok's celebrity status as a gunfighter and lawman. The series shows Hickok as a self-destructive, compulsive gambler who is eventually murdered while playing poker and subsequently laid to rest in Deadwood's cemetery.

In the early 1990's, the ABC television series, the Young Riders, a fictional account of Pony Express riders, Hickok is portrayed by Josh Brolin.[84]

In Doctor Who (film), The Doctor assembles his outfit from costumes found in the employee storage area of a hospital. One of the costumes is that of "Wild Bill Hickok", whom a nurse is dressing up as for a New Years Eve party.

Memorials and honorable distinctions

Hickok's birthplace is now the Wild Bill Hickok Memorial and is a listed historic site under the supervision of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. The town of Deadwood, South Dakota re-enacts Hickok's murder and McCall's capture every summer evening.[68]

In 1979, Hickok was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.[85]



  1. ^ Personal account of the foreman of the Overland Stage Company stations, as given to The DeWitt Times News:

    At the time of this affair I was at a station farther west and reached this station just as Wild Bill was getting ready to go to Beatrice for his trial. He wanted me to go with him and as we started on our way, imagine my surprise and uncomfortable feeling when he announced his intention of stopping at the McCanles home. I would have rather been somewhere else, but Bill stopped. He told Mrs. McCanles he was sorry he had to kill her man then took out $35 and gave it to her saying: 'This is all I have, sorry I do not have more to give you.' We drove on to Beatrice and at the trial, his plea was self-defense, no one appeared against him and he was cleared. The trial did not last more than fifteen minutes.[citation needed]

  2. ^ Judge Boyd told the jury, "The defendant cannot set up justification that he acted in self-defense if he was willing to engage in a fight with the deceased. To be entitled to acquittal on the ground of self-defense, he must have been anxious to avoid a conflict, and must have used all reasonable means to avoid it. If the deceased and defendant engaged in a fight or conflict willingly on the part of each, and the defendant killed the deceased, he is guilty of the offense charged, although the deceased may have fired the first shot."
  3. ^ Judge Boyd said, "That when danger is threatened and impending a man is not compelled to stand with his arms folded until it is too late to offer successful resistance and if the jury believe from the evidence that Tutt was a fighting character and a dangerous man and that was aware such was his character and that Tutt at the time he was shot by the Deft. was advancing on him with a drawn pistol and that Tutt had previously made threats of personal injury to Deft. ... and that Deft. shot Tutt to prevent the threatened impending injury the jury will acquit."
  4. ^ For details, see Evening Star, July 1, 1867, which contains a garbled report of eleven men killed by Indians at Fort Harker. It also reports the death of one and the wounding of a second railroad man by Indians near Fort Harker (the two casualties are confirmed). The report of the larger number of deaths may confuse this incident with another fight with Indians, at Fort Wallace, Kansas, in which a number of soldiers were killed and wounded. For the Fort Wallace fight and casualties, see The Sun, July 15, 1867.
  5. ^ The "special election" may not have been legal, as a letter dated September 17 to the governor of Kansas noted that Hickok had presented a warrant for an arrest which was rejected by the Fort Hays commander, because, when asked to produce his commission, Hickok admitted that he had never received one.
  6. ^ "Kyle John". HomeOfHeroes. 1999. Archived from the original on October 14, 2008. Retrieved November 9, 2018. John Kyle was awarded the Medal of Honor on 8 July 1869, at Republican River, Kansas, during the Indian campaigns.mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg/12px-Wikisource-logo.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  7. ^ McCall alleged that John Varnes, a Deadwood gambler, had paid him to murder Wild Bill. When Varnes could not be found, McCall then implicated Tim Brady in the plot. Brady, like Varnes, had disappeared from Deadwood and could not be found.
  8. ^ Dead man's hand was an established poker idiom for various different hands long before Hickok died. In 1886, ten years after Hickok's death, the dead man's hand was described as "three Jacks and a pair of Tens" in a North Dakota newspaper, which attributed the term to a specific game held in Illinois 40 years earlier, indicating Hickok's hand had yet to gain widespread popularity. Eventually, Hickok's aces and eights became widely known as the dead man's hand.
  9. ^ The old cemetery was in an area that was better suited for the constant influx of new settlers to live on, so the remaining bodies there were eventually also moved up the hill to the Mount Moriah Cemetery (in the 1880s).


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  3. ^ They Called Him Wild Bill: The Life and Adventures of James Butler Hickok. pp. 4–5.
  4. ^ Ostrom, Gene F. (2008). Vi's Secret: A Family's Story. iUniverse. p. 9. ISBN 9780595466252.
  5. ^ a b c Odrowaz-Sypniewska, Margaret. James Butler Hickok/"Wild Bill".
  6. ^ a b "James Butler 'Wild Bill' Hickok, Early Deadwood". Black Hills Visitor Magazine. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
  7. ^ Rosa, Joseph G. (1979). They Called Him Wild Bill. University Press of Oklahoma. p. 306.
  8. ^ Jayhawkers were also often referred to as "Red Legs" because of the distinctive feature of their uniform leggings.
  9. ^ a b c d e Martin, George (1975). James Garry, ed. Guns of the Gunfighters. Peterson Publishing. ISBN 0-8227-0095-6. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
  10. ^ Weiser, Kathy (April 2012). "Nebraska Legends: Rock Creek Station and the McCanles Massacre". Legends of America. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
  11. ^ They Called Him Wild Bill: The Life and Adventures of James Butler Hickok. p. 51: the name was inspired by his "sweeping nose and protruding upper lip".
  12. ^ "Wild Bill" Hickok Court Documents. Nebraska State Historical Society. 1861 subpoena issued to Monroe McCanles to testify against Duck Bill.
  13. ^ Fido, Martin (1993). The Chronicle of Crime. p. 24 (citing an 1861 newspaper article reporting the McCanles shooting). ISBN 1-84442-623-8.
  14. ^ Kelsey, D. M. (1888). Our Pioneer Heroes and Daring Deeds: The Lives and Famous Exploits of Boone ... and Other Hero Explorers, Renowned Frontier Fighters, and Early Settlers of America, from the Earliest Times to the Present. Scammell. pp. 535–.
  15. ^ Miller, Nyle H. (200). Why the West Was Wild. University Press of Oklahoma. pp 184–191. ISBN 0-8061-3530-1.
  16. ^ Rosa, Joseph G. (2003). Wild Bill Hickok, Gunfighter: An Account of Hickok's Gunfights. University Press of Oklahoma. ISBN 0-8061-3535-2.
  17. ^ a b "Wild Bill in Harper's Magazine". Mark Twain in His Times. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  18. ^ ""The Lenexa Police Department History"". Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 24, 2009.
  19. ^ Kelsey, D. M. (2004). Our Pioneer Heroes and Their Daring Deeds. Kessinger Publishing. pp. 355–391. ISBN 1-4179-6305-0. Originally published in 1883.
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  21. ^ "Rock Creek Station State Historical Park". Main Street Consulting Group. Archived from the original on December 24, 2015. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  22. ^ a b Rosa, Joseph G. James 'Wild Bill' Hickok.
  23. ^ a b The Life of Hon. William F. Cody, Known as Buffalo Bill, the Famous Hunter, Scout and Guide: An Autobiography. Hartford, Connecticut: F. E. Bliss, 1879.
  24. ^ The Killing of David Tutt, 1865. Springfield, Greene County, Missouri. History of Greene County, Missouri. Western Historical Company, 1983. USGenWeb Archives.net.
  25. ^ a b "Wild Bill Hickok". Spartacus Educational. Archived from the original on April 12, 2008. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  26. ^ Rosa, Joseph G. (1996). pp. 116–123.
  27. ^ Nichols, George Ward (February 1867). "Wild Bill". Harper's New Monthly Magazine. 34 (201). Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  28. ^ Lubet, Steven (2001). "Legal Culture, Wild Bill Hickok and the Gunslinger Myth". UCLA Law Review. The University of Texas. 48 (6). Archived from the original on February 13, 2007.
  29. ^ Rosa J. G. George Ward Nichols and the Legend of Wild Bill Hickok // Arizona and the West. Vol. 19, №. 2, Summer, 1977. p. 83.
  30. ^ Buel, James William (1880). Life and Marvelous Adventures of Wild Bill, the Scout.
  31. ^ "Wild Bill Hickok & Dead Man's Hand: Gambling in the Old West". Best UK Online Casino Sites 2018 - Licensed by Gambling Commission. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  32. ^ Miller, Nyle H. (2003). Why the West was Wild. University Press of Oklahoma. p. 185. ISBN 0-8061-3530-1.
  33. ^ For confirmation that Hickok was employed as a U.S. Army scout fighting Indians in Kansas in the summer of 1867, see Ames, George Augustus, Ups and Downs of a Army Officer, p. 232.
  34. ^ a b Miller, Nyle H. (2003). Why the West Was Wild. University Press of Oklahoma. pp. 186–189. ISBN 0-8061-3530-1.
  35. ^ "Ellsworth, Kansas History". Droversmercantile.com. Archived from the original on April 7, 2012. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
  36. ^ a b Miller, Nyle H.; Rosa, Joseph W. (1963). Why the West Was Wild: A Contemporary Look at the Antics of Some Highly Publicized Kansas Cowtown Personalities. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-3530-1.
  37. ^ Otero, Miguel Antonio (1936). My Life on the Frontier, 1864–1882. Sunstone Press. p. 16.
  38. ^ "Officer Down Memorial Page: Thomas J. Smith". The Officer Down Memorial Page, Inc. Archived from the original on November 26, 2005. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  39. ^ "Hardin Credited with 27 Killings". The Wichita City Eagle, August 30, 1877, p. 2, col. 6 (report of his arrest).
  40. ^ a b "Captor of John Wesley Hardin: John B. Armstrong / Killer of John Wesley Hardin: John Henry Selman". ancestry.com.
  41. ^ Rosa, Joseph G. (1996). Wild Bill Hickok: The Man and His Myth. University Press of Kansas. p. 110.
  42. ^ Border Roll Incident.
  43. ^ John Wesley Hardin Collection. Texas State University.
  44. ^ a b Hardin, John Wesley (1896). The Life of John Wesley Hardin: As Written by Himself. Seguin, Texas: Smith & Moore. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-8061-1051-6. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
  45. ^ "Article". Kansas Daily Commonwealth. August 9, 1871.
  46. ^ "Article". Saline County Journal. August 10, 1871. p. 3.
  47. ^ Keys, Jim (January 28, 2013). "Wild Bill Hickok". The History Herald: 2. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  48. ^ a b Tully, Charles (November 8, 1988). "Wild Bill See Red!". Weekly World News. p. 30. ISSN 0199-574X.
  49. ^ Shooting stray dogs within city limits was legal, and a 50-cent bounty was paid by the city for each one shot.
  50. ^ "Special Deputy Marshal Mike Williams". The Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP).
  51. ^ Baizley, Darrell (2002). "Who Was Wild Bill Hickok?". Essortment. Pagewise. Archived from the original on September 2, 2006. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  52. ^ Little, Theophilus. "Early Days in Abilene". Loose-leaf notebook, p. 21.
  53. ^ Burns, Walter Noble (November 2, 1911). "Frontier Hero - Reminiscences of Wild Bill Hickok by his old Friend Buffalo Bill". The Blackfoot Optimist. (Blackfoot, Idaho). Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  54. ^ "The State Journal (Jefferson City, Mo.), 1872–1886. August 18, 1876, image 3". loc.gov.
  55. ^ Griske, Michael (2005). The Diaries of John Hunton. Heritage Books. pp. 89, 90. ISBN 0-7884-3804-2.
  56. ^ "Charlie Utter, Early Deadwood". Black Hills Visitor Magazine.
  57. ^ "Famous Last Words". google.com.
  58. ^ "Jack McCall - The Coward That Killed Wild Bill Hickok". Legends of America. November 2014. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  59. ^ "Wild Bill's Death Chair". Deadwood photos. Archived from the original on March 13, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  60. ^ Campagna, Jeff. "American Wonder Wild Bill Hickok Shot and Killed from Behind on This Day in History". Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  61. ^ Bozeman Avant Courier, December 22, 1876, image 1, testimony of George M. Shingle.
  62. ^ Eriksmoen, Curt (September 2, 2012). "Riverboat captain 'carried' bullet that killed Hickok". The Bismarck Tribune. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  63. ^ McClintock, John S. Pioneer Days in the Black Hills.
  64. ^ McLaird, James D. (2008). Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane: Deadwood Legends. South Dakota State Historical Society. ISBN 0977795594.
  65. ^ a b McManus, James (2009). Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. 134. ISBN 0374299242.
  66. ^ Griske (2005). p. 87.
  67. ^ a b Richardson, Leander P. (April 1877). "A Trip to the Black Hills". Scribner's.
  68. ^ a b ""Jack McCall and the Murder of Wild Bill Hickok"". Archived from the original on March 13, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2008.. Black Hills Visitor.
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  70. ^ Rosa, Joseph G. (1979). They Called Him Wild Bill. University Press of Oklahoma. p. 305.
  71. ^ Straub, Patrick (November 10, 2009). It Happened in South Dakota: Remarkable Events That Shaped History. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-7627-6171-5.
  72. ^ Griske (2005). p. 89.
  73. ^ Weiser, Kathy (2011). "South Dakota Legends – John Perrett, aka: Potato Creek Johnny". Legends of America. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  74. ^ Photograph of Wild Bill Hickok's Colt Model 1851 Navys. Connecticut State Library, State Archives.
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Works cited
  • Bird, Roy (1979). "The Custer-Hickok Shootout in Hays City." Real West, May 1979.
  • Buel, James Wilson (1881). Heroes of the Plains, or Lives and Adventures of Wild Bill, Buffalo Bill and Other Celebrated Indian Fighters. St. Louis: Historical Publishing.
  • DeMattos, Jack (1980). "Gunfighters of the Real West: Wild Bill Hickok." Real West, June 1980.
  • Hermon, Gregory (1987). "Wild Bill's Sweetheart: The Life of Mary Jane Owens." Real West, February 1987.
  • Matheson, Richard (1996). The Memoirs of Wild Bill Hickok. Jove. ISBN 0-515-11780-3.
  • Nichols, George Ward (1867). "Wild Bill." Harper's New Monthly Magazine, February 1867.
  • O'Connor, Richard (1959). Wild Bill Hickok. Garden City, New York: Doubleday.
  • Rosa, Joseph G. (1964, 1974). They Called Him Wild Bill: The Life and Adventures of James Butler Hickok. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-1538-6.
  • Rosa, Joseph G. (1977). "George Ward Nichols and the Legend of Wild Bill Hickok." Arizona and the West, Summer 1977.
  • Rosa, Joseph G. (1979). "J.B. Hickok, Deputy U.S. Marshal." Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains, Winter 1979.
  • Rosa, Joseph G. (1982, 1994). The West of Wild Bill Hickok. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-2680-9.
  • Rosa, Joseph G. (1982). "Wild Bill and the Timber Thieves." Real West, April 1982.
  • Rosa, Joseph G. (1984). "The Girl and the Gunfighter: A Newly Discovered Photograph of Wild Bill Hickok." Real West, December 1984.
  • Rosa, Joseph G. (1996). Wild Bill Hickok: The Man and His Myth. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. ISBN 0-7006-0773-0.
  • Rosa, Joseph G. (2003). Wild Bill Hickok Gunfighter: An Account of Hickok's Gunfights. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-3535-2.
  • Turner, Thadd M. Wild Bill Hickok: Deadwood City – End of Trail. Universal Publishers, 2001. ISBN 1-58112-689-1
  • Wilstach, Frank Jenners (1926). Wild Bill Hickok: The Prince of Pistoleers. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Page.
External links Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wild Bill Hickok.
  • Wild Bill Hickok collection at Nebraska State Historical Society
  • James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok at Find a Grave
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  • Ghost town
  • Gunfights
  • Homesteading
  • Land rush
  • Manifest destiny
  • Moonshine
  • One-room schoolhouse
  • Rodeo
  • Stagecoach
  • Train robbery
  • Vigilante justice
  • Western saloon
    • Tack piano
  • Westward expansion
  • Wild West shows
and trails
  • Barlow Road
  • Bozeman Trail
  • Butterfield Trail
  • California Trail
  • Chisholm Trail
  • Great Platte River Road
  • Great Western Cattle Trail
  • Lolo Pass
  • Meek Cutoff
  • Mormon Trail
  • Oregon Trail
  • Pony Express
  • Santa Fe Trail
  • Southern Emigrant Trail
  • Tanner Trail
  • First Transcontinental Railroad
  • Dead man's hand
  • Dime novel
  • John Henry
  • Johnny Kaw
  • Lone Ranger
  • Long Tom's treasure
  • Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine
  • Lost Ship of the Desert
  • Montezuma's treasure
  • Paul Bunyan
  • Pecos Bill
  • Seven Cities of Gold
Gold rushes
  • Black Hills Gold Rush
  • California Gold Rush
  • Confederate Gulch and Diamond City
  • Klondike Gold Rush
  • Pike's Peak Gold Rush
  • Battle of Coffeyville
  • Battle of Lincoln
  • Frisco shootout
  • Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
  • Long Branch Saloon gunfight
  • Variety Hall shootout
Military conflicts
  • Battle of the Alamo
  • Battle of Glorieta Pass
  • Battle of the Little Bighorn
  • Battle of San Jacinto
  • Battle of Washita River
  • Bear Flag Revolt
  • First Battle of Adobe Walls
  • Indian Wars
  • Mexican War
  • Sand Creek massacre
  • Seminole Wars
  • Texas Revolution
  • Wounded Knee Massacre
Range wars
and feuds
  • Earp-Clanton feud
  • Johnson County War
  • Lincoln County War
  • Mason County War
  • Pleasant Valley War
  • Sheep Wars
  • Sutton–Taylor feud
  • Arizona Rangers
  • Cowboys and cowgirls
  • Gangs
  • Gunfights
  • Lawmen
  • Mountain men
  • Outlaws
  • Timeline of the American Old West
  • Western genre
  • Western lifestyle
  • Western wear
  • Anchorage
  • Iditarod
  • Nome
  • Seward
  • Skagway
Arizona Territory
  • Canyon Diablo
  • Fort Grant
  • Prescott
  • Phoenix
  • Tombstone
  • Tucson
  • Yuma
  • Bakersfield
  • Fresno
  • Jamestown
  • Los Angeles
  • Sacramento
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Creede
  • Denver
  • Telluride
  • Trinidad
Dakota Territory
  • Bismarck
  • Deadwood
  • Fargo
  • Pine Ridge
  • Rapid City
  • Yankton
Florida Territory
  • Angola
  • Negro Fort
  • Pensacola
  • Prospect Bluff
  • St. Augustine
  • St. Marks
  • Tallahassee
Idaho Territory
  • Fort Boise
  • Fort Hall
  • Fort Dearborn
  • Abilene
  • Dodge City
  • Ellsworth
  • Hays
  • Leavenworth
  • Wichita
  • Independence
  • Kansas City
  • St. Louis
Montana Territory
  • Billings
  • Bozeman
  • Deer Lodge
  • Fort Benton
  • Fort Peck
  • Helena
  • Livingston
  • Missoula
  • Virginia City
  • Chadron
  • Fort Atkinson
  • Fort Robinson
  • Nebraska City
  • Ogallala
  • Omaha
  • Valentine
  • Carson City
  • Virginia City
  • Reno
New Mexico Territory
  • Alamogordo
  • Albuquerque
  • Cimarron
  • Fort Sumner
  • Gallup
  • Las Vegas
  • Lincoln
  • Mesilla
  • Mogollon
  • Roswell
  • Santa Fe
  • Tucumcari
Oklahoma Territory
and Indian Territory
  • Broken Arrow
  • Fort Sill
  • Oklahoma City
Oregon Territory
  • Astoria
  • The Dalles
  • La Grande
  • McMinnville
  • Oregon City
  • Portland
  • Salem
  • Vale
  • Austin
  • Abilene
  • El Paso
  • Fort Worth
  • Gonzales
  • Lubbock
  • San Antonio
Utah Territory
  • Salt Lake City
Washington Territory
  • Everett
  • Port Townsend
  • Seattle
  • Vancouver
Wyoming Territory
  • Fort Bridger
  • Fort Laramie
  • Category
  • Portal
  • Commons
  • v
  • t
  • e
Poker Hall of Fame1979
  • Johnny Moss
  • Nick Dandolos
  • Corky McCorquodale
  • Red Winn
  • Sid Wyman
  • Wild Bill Hickok
  • Edmond Hoyle
  • Blondie Forbes
  • Bill Boyd
  • Tom Abdo
  • Joe Bernstein
  • Murph Harrold
  • Red Hodges
  • Henry Green
  • Puggy Pearson
  • Doyle Brunson
  • Jack Straus
  • Sarge Ferris
  • Benny Binion
  • Chip Reese
  • Amarillo Slim
  • Jack Keller
  • Little Man Popwell
  • Roger Moore
  • Stu Ungar
  • Lyle Berman
  • Johnny Chan
  • Bobby Baldwin
  • Berry Johnston
  • Jack Binion
  • Crandell Addington
  • T. J. Cloutier
  • Billy Baxter
  • Barbara Enright
  • Phil Hellmuth
  • Dewey Tomko
  • Henry Orenstein
  • Mike Sexton
  • Dan Harrington
  • Erik Seidel
  • Barry Greenstein
  • Linda Johnson
  • Eric Drache
  • Sailor Roberts
  • Tom McEvoy
  • Scotty Nguyen
  • Jack McClelland
  • Daniel Negreanu
  • Jennifer Harman
  • John Juanda
  • Todd Brunson
  • Carlos Mortensen
  • Dave Ulliott
  • Phil Ivey
  • Mori Eskandani
  • John Hennigan
  • v
  • t
  • e
Black Hills of South Dakota and WyomingAttractions
  • Bear Butte
  • Black Elk Wilderness
  • Black Hills Central Railroad
  • Black Hills National Forest
  • Black Elk Peak
  • Black Hills Playhouse
  • Chapel in the Hills
  • Crazy Horse Memorial
  • Custer State Park
  • Devils Tower
  • Dinosaur Park
  • Flintstones Bedrock City
  • Homestake Mine
  • Jewel Cave National Monument
  • Mammoth Site
  • Minuteman Missile National Historic Site
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial
  • Mystic Miner Ski Resort
  • Needles
  • Pactola Lake
  • Reptile Gardens
  • Rushmore Cave
  • Sheridan Lake
  • Sitting Bull Crystal Caverns
  • Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
  • Sylvan Lake
  • Terry Peak ski area
  • Wind Cave National Park with bison herd
Scenic routesRoads
  • Norbeck Scenic Byway
  • Iron Mountain Road
  • Needles Highway
  • Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway
  • Mickelson Centennial Trail
Populated placesCities
  • Belle Fourche
  • Buffalo Chip (legal status undetermined)
  • Central City
  • Custer
  • Deadwood
  • Edgemont
  • Hot Springs
  • Hill City
  • Lead
  • Newcastle
  • Rapid City
  • Spearfish
  • Sturgis
  • Whitewood
  • Buffalo Gap
  • Fairburn
  • Hermosa
  • Keystone
  • Pringle
  • Sundance
  • Dewey
  • Four Mile
  • Galena
  • Hanna
  • Johnson Siding
  • Nemo
  • Rochford
  • Rockerville
  • Silver City
  • Three Forks
History and peopleNative American
  • Cheyenne people
  • Lakota people
  • Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868) established the Great Sioux Reservation
  • Black Hills War, or Great Sioux War (1876)
  • Black Elk
  • Sitting Bull
  • Crazy Horse
  • Lone Horn
  • Red Cloud
  • Spotted Tail
Old West
  • Dakota Territory (1861–1889)
  • Black Hills Expedition (1874)
  • Black Hills Gold Rush (1874)
  • Newton–Jenney Party (1875)
  • Cheyenne-Black Hills Stage Route (1876-1887)
  • Sidney-Black Hills Stage Road (1876-1887)
  • Rapid City, Black Hills and Western Railroad (1893–1947)
  • Seth Bullock and Martha Bullock
  • General George Armstrong Custer
  • Dora DuFran
  • Wild Bill Hickok
  • Calamity Jane
  • Historian Doane Robinson
  • Sol Star
  • Al Swearengen
  • Charlie Utter
Ghost towns
  • Addie Camp
  • Bismuth
  • Blacktail
  • Burdock
  • Cambria
  • Carbonate
  • Etta
  • Flatiron
  • Greenwood
  • Maitland
  • Myers City
  • Nahant
  • Novak
  • Pactola
  • Sheridan
  • Spokane
  • Terraville
  • Tigerville
  • Tinton
  • Trojan
  • Fossil Cycad National Monument (1922-1957)
  • Stratobowl (1934-1959)
  • Black Hills flood (1972)
  • Sculptors Gutzon Borglum and Lincoln Borglum
  • Author Joseph Bottum
  • Politician Francis H. Case
  • Poet Charles Badger Clark
  • Historian Watson Parker
Road junctions
  • Carlile Junction
  • Cheyenne Crossing
  • Four Corners
  • Four Mile
  • Keystone Wye
  • Maverick Junction
  • Mule Creek Junction
  • Mount Rushmore in popular culture
Authority control
  • BNE: XX970441
  • BNF: cb11973766w (data)
  • GND: 118639617
  • ISNI: 0000 0000 8976 3725
  • LCCN: n50035077
  • NARA: 10581281
  • SNAC: w6pv6kbf
  • SUDOC: 076312038
  • VIAF: 37709764
  • WorldCat Identities (via VIAF): 37709764

Wild Bill: The True Story of the American Frontier's First Gunfighter
Wild Bill: The True Story of the American Frontier's First Gunfighter
The definitive true story of Wild Bill, the first lawman of the Wild West, by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dodge City.In July 1865, "Wild Bill" Hickok shot and killed Davis Tutt in Springfield, MO—the first quick-draw duel on the frontier. Thus began the reputation that made him a marked man to every gunslinger in the Wild West.James Butler Hickock was known across the frontier as a soldier, Union spy, scout, lawman, gunfighter, gambler, showman, and actor. He crossed paths with General Custer and Buffalo Bill Cody, as well as Ben Thompson and other young toughs gunning for the sheriff with the quickest draw west of the Mississippi.Wild Bill also fell in love—multiple times—before marrying the true love of his life, Agnes Lake, the impresario of a traveling circus. He would be buried however, next to fabled frontierswoman Calamity Jane.Even before his death, Wild Bill became a legend, with fiction sometimes supplanting fact in the stories that surfaced. Once, in a bar in Nebraska, he was confronted by four men, three of whom he killed in the ensuing gunfight. A famous Harper’s Magazine article credited Hickok with slaying 10 men that day; by the 1870s, his career-long kill count was up to 100. The legend of Wild Bill has only grown since his death in 1876, when cowardly Jack McCall famously put a bullet through the back of his head during a card game. Bestselling author Tom Clavin has sifted through years of western lore to bring Hickock fully to life in this rip-roaring, spellbinding true story.

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Wild Bill: The Legend and Life of William O. Douglas
Wild Bill: The Legend and Life of William O. Douglas
William Orville Douglas was both the most accomplished and the most controversial justice ever to serve on the United States Supreme Court. He emerged from isolated Yakima, Washington, to be dubbed, by the age of thirty, “the most outstanding law professor in the nation”; at age thirty-eight, he was the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, cleaning up a corrupt Wall Street during the Great Depression; by the age of forty, he was the second youngest Supreme Court justice in American history, going on to serve longer—and to write more opinions and dissents—than any other justice.In evolving from a pro-government advocate in the 1940s to an icon of liberalism in the 1960s, Douglas became a champion for the rights of privacy, free speech, and the environment. While doing so, “Wild Bill” lived up to his nickname by racking up more marriages, more divorces, and more impeachment attempts aimed against him than any other member of the Court. But it was what Douglas did not accomplish that haunted him: He never fulfilled his mother’s ambition for him to become president of the United States.Douglas’s life was the stuff of novels, but with his eye on his public image and his potential electability to the White House, the truth was not good enough for him. Using what he called “literary license,” he wrote three memoirs in which the American public was led to believe that he had suffered from polio as an infant and was raised by an impoverished, widowed mother whose life savings were stolen by the family attorney. He further chronicled his time as a poverty-stricken student sleeping in a tent while attending Whitman College, serving as a private in the army during World War I, and “riding the rods” like a hobo to attend Columbia Law School. Relying on fifteen years of exhaustive research in eighty-six manuscript collections, revealing long-hidden documents, and interviews conducted with more than one hundred people, many sharing their recollections for the first time, Bruce Allen Murphy reveals the truth behind Douglas’s carefully constructed image. While William O. Douglas wrote fiction in the form of memoir, Murphy presents the truth with a narrative flair that reads like a novel.

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Wild Bill
Wild Bill
He was a legend in his own time...and for all time. Jeff Bridges portrays Wild Bill Hickok, the hard-drinking, quick-shooting gunslinger who lived on the edge. Hickok's amazing story is told with a stunning visual style and lightning-fast pace, illuminating one of the most exciting heroes of the American West. Wild Bill is "an action-packed masterpiece" (Paul Wunder, WBAI Radio). In the town of Deadwood, South Dakota, Wild Bill must face his most lethal enemy. A mysterious stranger (David Arquette) has arrived announcing that he will not leave until Hickok is dead. Wild Bill finds comfort in the arms of sexy Calamity Jane (Ellen Barkin), but he is haunted by the memory of the one woman he truly loveda longing that could ultimately bring about his downfall. As Hickok andhis opponent near their explosive confrontation, the stage is set for a powerful climax unsurpassedin high drama and edge-of-your-seat excitement.

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Wild Bill Donovan: The Spymaster Who Created the OSS and Modern American Espionage
Wild Bill Donovan: The Spymaster Who Created the OSS and Modern American Espionage
He was one of America’s most exciting and secretive generals—the man Franklin Roosevelt made his top spy in World War II. A mythic figure whose legacy is still intensely debated, “Wild Bill” Donovan was director of the Office of Strategic Services (the country’s first national intelligence agency) and the father of today’s CIA. Donovan introduced the nation to the dark arts of covert warfare on a scale it had never seen before. Now, veteran journalist Douglas Waller has mined government and private archives throughout the United States and England, drawn on thousands of pages of recently declassified documents, and interviewed scores of Donovan’s relatives, friends, and associates to produce a riveting biography of one of the most powerful men in modern espionage. William Joseph Donovan’s life was packed with personal drama. The son of poor Irish Catholic parents, he married into Protestant wealth and fought heroically in World War I, where he earned the nickname “Wild Bill” for his intense leadership and the Medal of Honor for his heroism. After the war he made millions as a Republican lawyer on Wall Street until FDR, a Democrat, tapped him to be his strategic intelligence chief. A charismatic leader, Donovan was revered by his secret agents. Yet at times he was reckless—risking his life unnecessarily in war zones, engaging in extramarital affairs that became fodder for his political enemies—and he endured heartbreaking tragedy when family members died at young ages. Wild Bill Donovan reads like an action-packed spy thriller, with stories of daring young men and women in his OSS sneaking behind enemy lines for sabotage, breaking into Washington embassies to steal secrets, plotting to topple Adolf Hitler, and suffering brutal torture or death when they were captured by the Gestapo. It is also a tale of political intrigue, of infighting at the highest levels of government, of powerful men pitted against one another. Donovan fought enemies at home as often as the Axis abroad. Generals in the Pentagon plotted against him. J. Edgar Hoover had FBI agents dig up dirt on him. Donovan stole secrets from the Soviets before the dawn of the Cold War and had intense battles with Winston Churchill and British spy chiefs over foreign turf. Separating fact from fiction, Waller investigates the successes and the occasional spectacular failures of Donovan’s intelligence career. It makes for a gripping and revealing portrait of this most controversial spymaster.

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Wild Bills Hickory Smoked Beef Jerky Strips, 30-Count, 15-Ounce
Wild Bills Hickory Smoked Beef Jerky Strips, 30-Count, 15-Ounce
From the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country comes the finest in beef jerky. Wild Bill's Foods started as a local butcher shop in 1955 serving the local farm folks.

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Wild Bill and Rancho Deluxe - 2 Movies Starring Jeff Bridges - Digitally Remastered
Wild Bill and Rancho Deluxe - 2 Movies Starring Jeff Bridges - Digitally Remastered
Wild Bill and Rancho Deluxe - 2 Movies Starring Jeff Bridges - Digitally RemasteredThis collection includes 2 action–packed Westerns, featuring noteworthy performances by Jeff Bridges, Ellen Barkin, John Hurt, Diane Lane, David Arquette, Christina Applegate, Sam Waterston, and Slim Pickens. WILD BILL (Walter Hill, 1995): Wild Bill Hickok, famed lawman and gunman of the Old West, is haunted by his past and his reputation. He is loved by, but cannot love, Calamity Jane. Dogging his trail is young Jack McCall, who blames Bill for abandoning the boy's mother and destroying her life. McCall has sworn to kill Bill, and Bill's ghosts, his failing eyesight, and his fondness for opium may make McCall's task easier.RANCHO DELUXE (Frank Perry, 1975): With a pickup truck and an antique buffalo rifle, bumbling drifters Jack (Jeff Bridges) and Cecil (Sam Waterston) hustle and rustle their way into the hearts of the native Montanans, who seem to have a bit of a grudge going against the New West, Nouveau Riche ranch owner (Clifton James).When sold by Amazon.com, this product will be manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.

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