Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My Birthday And Western Wednesday...!

I never knew that I shared a birthday with ol' Tom Horn! Pretty cool!

When you talk about the old west and some of the characters that were around, how could you not know about Tom Horn? They even made a movie about him with Steve McQueen playing the lead! Was he a good guy or a bad man? We'll probably never know for sure, but he was certainly interesting, if nothing else!

Nov 21, 1860:
Tom Horn is born in Missouri

The notorious hired killer Tom Horn is born on this day in 1860, in Memphis, Missouri. "Killing is my specialty," Horn reportedly once said. "I look at it as a business proposition, and I think I have a corner on the market."

Horn was raised on a farm, and like many young farm boys, Horn loved to roam the woods with his dog and rifle, hunting for game and practicing his marksmanship. He was an unusually skilled rifleman, an ability that may have later encouraged him to gravitate towards a career as a professional killer. That his father was a violent man, who severely beat his son, might also explain how Horn came to be such a remorseless killer.

However, the young Horn did not immediately begin his adult life as a professional murderer. Fleeing his home in Memphis after a particularly savage beating from his father, the 14-year-old boy first worked as a teamster in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he demonstrated a quick intelligence and learned Spanish. Horn's packing and language skills later won him a job with the U.S. Army, where he served as an interpreter with the Apache Indians, learned to be a skilled scout and tracker, and tracked the cunning movements of the famous Apache warrior Geronimo.

Ironically, Horn's career as a hired gunman began legitimately when he signed up with the well-known Chicago-based Pinkerton Detective Agency, which supplied agents to serve as armed guards and private police forces. Though Pinkerton detectives generally stopped short of carrying out actual murders, they were sometimes called on to fight gun battles with everyone from striking miners to train robbers.

Horn's four-year stint with the Pinkertons doubtlessly impressed his next employer, the giant Wyoming ranching operation, Swan Land and Cattle Company. Swan and other big ranches funded Horn's reign of terror in Wyoming, where he assassinated many supposed rustlers and other troublemakers. To take only one example, a Wyoming homesteader named William Lewis had stubbornly claimed his right to farm on what had previously been open range for cattle. He openly bragged about stealing and eating the cattle he found there. The big ranchers warned Lewis to leave the territory, but he refused to back down. In August 1895, he was shot to death with three bullets fired from a distance of at least 300 yards. Few doubted that the sharpshooting Horn killed Lewis.

Horn's reign of terror ended in 1903, when he was hanged for killing a 14-year-old boy.

So many characters in the old days that were probably were overshadowed by their reputations. I reckon that, in some cases, that may have been their downfall!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. I'm baking some fresh bread today! Want some?

30 comments:

Jess (Ozark Momma) said...

Happy Birthday Hermit dear!

HermitJim said...

Hey Jess...
I really appreciate that, my friend!

Thanks so much for taking the time to drop by this morning!

Gorges Smythe said...

Happy birthday to you and Tom!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, HJ. And I pray many more for you.
YeOldFurt

JMD said...

HJ, wishing you a most happy birthday and many more. Feel free to have plenty of cake, some for me also! I will be tethered to the kitchen making pies, stuffing and all the fixins today! ha

Phyllis (N/W Jersey) said...

Happy, happy birthday, Mr. Hermit! Seems we both share birthdays with famous people - mine is Richard Nixon!
It's your special day so take it easy. I'll bring chocolate cake for all!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday HermitJim - I hope the cake is excellent! My Mom's birthday was this past Monday, she turned 75. She's in pretty good shape, still has her mind and gets around pretty well. She is thankful for that - health issues are nothing to sneeze at!

I'd read that Tom Horn was framed for that murder, the people that hired him wanted him to disappear for good. The main piece of evidences was completely circumstantial - they claimed Horn was the only one who could have made that shot.

Roslyn Phipps said...

Good morning and Happy Birthday Hermit Jim.

Momlady said...

Along with everyone I wish you a happy birth day. May you have many more.

Phelan said...

Happy birthday my dear Jim!

And happy Thanksgiving.

Baby Sis said...

Bubba -

Happy, Happy day! Our family is blessed by having you as a part of it, so I wish you many more. You are loved and appreciated!

Chocolate peanut butter cake for the next get-together! I promise!

Big hugs -

Sixbears said...

Happy birthday!

linda m said...

Happy Birthday Hermit Jim. And I hope you have many more. Interesting story this morning and I'll be happy to have a slice of your homemade bread.

JO said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY VERY SPECIAL ONE, and many, many more.
I would love to sit with you this special morning and have some of your nice warm bread. And to wish you the very best birthday.

SciFiChick said...

Happy Birthday!!! I hope you have a wonderful day.

HermitJim said...

Hey Gorges...
Thanks for the good wishes and for coming by today!


Hey YOF...
Sure is good to see you again!

Thanks for coming over today!


Hey JMD...
Thanks for the good wishes.

Bet it really smells good around your place! I love the smell of Thanksgiving!

Many thanks for coming over this morning!


Hey Phyllis...
I think I got the best choice of the two!

Chocolate cake sure sounds good!

Thanks for coming by today!


Hey Anon 6:08...
At our age, good health is so important! The Lord has blessed me with pretty fair health, so I'm happy!

Never thought I would see 68! That used to sound old, but for some reason...now it doesn't!

Thanks so much for dropping in today!


Hey Roslyn...
Good morning back at ya!

Thanks for the good wishes and for the visit this morning!


Hey Momlady...
I really appreciate that, my friend!

Thanks so much for coming by today!


Hey Phelan...
I'm sure glad you could come by!

I hope the knee is coming along OK...and that the PT is not too painful!

Again, thanks for the visit today!


Hey Sis...
Thanks for the good thoughts!

I'm looking forward to the peanut butter cake, that's for sure!

I am sure glad you could come by today!


Hey Sixbears...
Thanks, buddy! I appreciate that!

Thanks for the visit today!


Hey Linda...
Lots of folks like hearing about men like Tom Horn! Glad you found it interesting!

Many thanks for coming over today!


Hey Jo...
It's always a pleasure to share some bread with you, my friend!

We have celebrated a lot of birthdays together, haven't we?

Thanks for coming to the patio this morning, sweetie!

HermitJim said...

Hey Sci...
I really appreciate that! You have a great day...and thanks for the visit this morning!

ladyhawthorne said...

Have a great birthday!

Dizzy-Dick said...

Happy birthday to you my friend. How's it feel to now be over 21? (Grin). I think Tom Horn was blamed for any killing that they were not sure of, but he did do is share and even more.

HermitJim said...

Hey Lady Hawthorne...
Thanks so much...I really appreciate it!

I appreciate the visit today as well!


Hey Dizzy...
I'm like you! I believe that he was blamed for somethings he didn't do.

Does it mean, now that I'm grown, that I can sit at the big table with the grownups?

Thanks for coming over today, buddy!

blondie said...

Hey Mr Hermit,
Hope you're having a Wonderful Birthday!!
Did I smell fresh bread? You know you need real butter with that right? Gotta splurge once in a while.
Just wanted to stop by and give a Hug for your special day!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY and Many Many More!!!
Luv ya,
Judy xoxo

HermitJim said...

Hey Blondie...
Real butter is definitely the best!

I really needed the hug, my long time friend! I love me a hug from long haired blonds!

Thanks for stopping by today, Judy!

Stephen said...

Happy Birthday, Jim...and have a great Thanksgiving.

HermitJim said...

Hey Stephen...
Thanks, buddy! I appreciate that!

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving as well, and I appreciate you coming by today!

Felinae said...

I'm a little late, but the day isn't over yet...Happy Birthday, Uncle Hermit, I hope your special day was as special as you are, sir.

I will also take this time to wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving.

Hugs
~Felinae~

HermitJim said...

Hey Felinae...
Well, you are always welcome! You know that!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and the family as well, my good friend! Thanks for coming over today!

Knight Angel said...

A very happy birthday to you, Mister Hermit Sir, from your wayward nephew, myself, the Evil Genius, and Sprout - we hope you had a marvelous day and wish you many happy returns!

Shade and Sweetwater,
K

chinasyndrome said...

Happy Birthday Jim! Tom Horn starring Steve McQueen is one of my all time favorite westerns. I still don't believe he killed the kid! Rustlers on the other hand were the lowest form of human to those guys! I think the kid was a set up to get rid of a man they hired,then grew scared of! Just my humble opinion. Pretty famous man to share the day with either way! Enjoy Brother!

China
III

Judy said...

Happy belated Birthday Jim! I read a biography of Horn and the biographer thought Horn was railroaded for that particular murder. As a side note, Mom said we were related to Horn but I don't remember how.

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to bring up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing will be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Both boys and girls feel the impact of just a moment’s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.


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