Friday, August 20, 2010

Some More Bad Guys In Texas History...!

Here is a little more Texas history involving outlaws, crooked law enforcement folks, and the strange ways of justice!

Texas has changed a lot in many ways...and stayed the same in many more since all this took place! Sometimes the wheels of justice roll slowly, but sooner or later what goes around, comes around!

This story from yesterday's Chronicle explains the whole thing, except for how a guy that was sentenced to 25 years for killing at least 14 people, got out of prison so early and then, to top it off, was able to become a lawyer!

Today in Texas History: Lawman kills John Wesley Hardin

On this date in 1895, a crooked constable named John Selman killed the notorious mass murderer John Wesley Hardin in a gunfight at El Paso's Acme Saloon.

Hardin was born in 1853 in Bonham and was known for his violent personality at a young age. In 1867 he stabbed another youth in a schoolyard squabble, and at age 15 he shot and killed a man during an argument.

In the fall of 1868 he claimed to have killed three Union soldiers and another soldier the next year. As he made his way up the Chisholm Trail, Hardin killed at least ten men and then four more upon returning to Gonzales County.

Texas Rangers tracked him down and captured him in Pensacola, Fla., in 1877. Hardin was tried for murder, convicted, and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

He was pardoned in 1894.

Hardin had been studying law while in prison. After his release, he was admitted to the bar and practiced law in Gonzales County and then in El Paso.

In El Paso, he began seeing a woman married to one of his clients. When the husband found out about the affair, Hardin hired several law officials to kill him.

Constable Selman, an Arkansas native, was one of the hired killers, and was rumored to have killed Hardin because Hardin never paid him. Selman was tried for Hardin's murder but released when the trial ended in a hung jury.

Selman died shortly thereafter in a gunfight.

Hardin and Selman are both buried in El Paso's Concordia Cemetery.

Did you noticed that the Texas Rangers tracked Hardin all the way to Florida and arrested him there? Gotta love those Rangers!

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit! We can swap some historical facts!


Anonymous said...

There's quite a bit to the JW Hardin story including shooting a man for snoring in a hotel. Some say he was the "baddest of the bad".
Thanks HJ.

Ben in Texas said...

Thanks for the history. A bunch of years ago, I knew a lady that hailed from Harlingen Texas, Her last name was Hardin. She was some relative of ole John. Her brother played semipro golf but changed his name while on tour, was ashamed of the name I think he said.

JoJo said...

Good Morning My Special One
Wonder where I have been for the past few days that I missed your blog. But sure did enjoy them this morning. And I would rather have the tb skin test thank you very much.:)
And I will have to look this Hardin guy up you have peeked my Western History mind. Thank You for another great lesson.
Pass the pot please time to catch my breath I think.

HermitJim said...

Hey Old Furt...
If anyone wants to learn some interesting facts in history, all they have to do is to read about the early bad guys and a lot of the lawmen!

Had to be really tough to be either one, that's for sure!

Hey, thanks for coming by today, buddy! Good to see you again!

Hey Ben...
I'm pretty sure that a lot of us would find some bad guys in our back ground if we checked! I would think that having someone famous ( or infamous) like Hardin would be an asset in the public eye, ya know?

Certainly would have made for an interesting profile!

Hey, thanks for coming by tday, my friend!

Hey JoJo...
Been wondering where you were! Thought maybe you had forgotten all about me!

Early Texas history does make for some really interesting, that's for sure! Plenty of interesting folks back in those days, without a doubt!

Hey, don't stay away so long next time!

Thanks sweetie, for coming by!

Brigid said...

Great story.

You can't beat a Ranger.

HermitJim said...

Hey Bridget...
The Rangers were, and are a tough and persistent bunch! Guess they had to be, with early Texas being such a wild and wooly place!

The old saying goes "one riot, one Ranger" was probably based on fact!

I sure do appreciate you coming by this morning!

Mechanic in Illinois said...

Sounds about right,first a criminal then a lawyer. Good on the job training. Thanks for another great lesson.

HermitJim said...

Hey Mechanic...
Like I said, things haven't changed all that much in some aspects of Texas society!

I sure do appreciate the visit today!

Survival Chick said...

Texan born and raised! I never get sick of our scandalous history!

Bob Mc said...

I've heard of Hardin as a gun fighter. Never knew he was a lawyer. Interesting.

HermitJim said...

Hey Survival Chick...
I thought you sounded like a Texas gal!

Was just over to your blog and I have to say, I like your style!

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Bob...
Never know just what you may pick up at the Hermit's, do ya?

I appreciate you coming by today, my friend!

Ben in Texas said...

About the Texas Rangers Good link to them is

Felinae said...

Thanks for the History lesson. :) I enjoyed reading the story.


Dizzy-Dick said...

Howdy Jim,
You know, the History channel has lots of stuff on the old west. I like "Wild West Tech" and others. True happenings are much more interesting than fiction, and sometimes more bizarre.