Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wild Bill For Western Wednesday...!

Here is a case where what seemed like a good idea at the time just didn't quite work out.

What started out to be a solution for one problem kinda led to another. The simple fix didn't solve the problem, but instead made it seem even worse than before.

Sheriff Wild Bill Hickok proves too wild for Kansas

Just after midnight on this day in 1869, Ellis County Sheriff Wild Bill Hickok and his deputy respond to a report that a local ruffian named Samuel Strawhun and several drunken buddies were tearing up John Bitter’s Beer Saloon in Hays City, Kansas. When Hickok arrived and ordered the men to stop, Strawhun turned to attack him, and Hickok shot him in the head. Strawhun died instantly, as did the riot.

Such were Wild Bill’s less-than-restrained law enforcement methods. Famous for his skill with a pistol and steely-calm under fire, James Butler Hickok initially seemed to be the ideal man for the sheriff of Ellis County, Kansas. The good citizens of Hays City, the county seat, were tired of the wild brawls and destructiveness of the hard-drinking buffalo hunters and soldiers who took over their town every night. They hoped the famous “Wild Bill” could restore peace and order, and in the late summer of 1869, elected him as interim county sheriff.

Tall, athletic, and sporting shoulder-length hair and a sweeping mustache, Hickok cut an impressive figure, and his reputation as a deadly shot with either hand was often all it took to keep many potential lawbreakers on the straight and narrow. As one visiting cowboy later recalled, Hickok would stand “with his back to the wall, looking at everything and everybody under his eyebrows–just like a mad old bull.” But when Hickok applied more aggressive methods of enforcing the peace, some Hays City citizens wondered if their new cure wasn’t worse than the disease. Shortly after becoming sheriff, Hickok shot a belligerent soldier who resisted arrest, and the man died the next day. A few weeks later Hickok killed Strawhun. While his brutal ways were indisputably effective, many Hays City citizens were less than impressed that after only five weeks in office he had already found it necessary to kill two men in the name of preserving peace.

During the regular November election later that year, the people expressed their displeasure, and Hickok lost to his deputy, 144-89. Though Wild Bill Hickok would later go on to hold other law enforcement positions in the West, his first attempt at being a sheriff had lasted only three months.

I reckon this is one reason Bill got the name Wild Bill. Have to admit he did what was asked of him, even if it ruffled a few feathers.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning.


Hermit's Baby Sis said...

Maybe we need a little more of that type of law enforcement. Get 'er done.

linda m said...

Hey, Wild Bill was asked to preserve Law and Order and that is what he did. The fact that the citizens didn't approve of his methods is their problem. He got the job done.

HermitJim said...

Hey Sis...
Couldn't hurt, that's for sure!
Thanks for stopping by today!

Hey Linda...
I totally agree.
Thanks for coming by this morning!

JO said...

Well why complain if your getting what you asked for. Wonder if that's how that saying got started?

I can't believe how beautiful weather has gotten. Been spending lots of time outdoors and the patio in where I an heading.

Dizzy-Dick said...

I always thought that I should have been born back in that era, but my Mom had trouble birthing me and had to have a Caesarean section. Not sure if they did that back then???