publications

The Wild, Wild West

The wild and wooly American West has been fodder for stories, dime novels, comic books,

motion pictures, and television programs. Many fictionalized accounts exaggerate the violence

and lawlessness of the frontier. But there were some circumstances in which the truth was

every bit as fabulous as fiction, as in this account from Fort Robinson:



“The mail carrier brings news from Camp Sheridan of a horrible carnival of blood, in a low den

of iniquity near that place, in which two men were killed, two dangerously, perhaps fatally,

wounded, and several others bruised.



“Last Saturday night there was a large attendance of cowboys and soldiers in the place. Poor

whiskey and lively dancing soon caused bad blood. It began by a drunken Mexican brandishing

a revolver and threatening to shoot the bartender for swindling him. A dozen cowboys drew

revolvers simultaneously.



“A shot was fired, and one of them, Ed Collins, fell mortally wounded, having shot himself

while drawing his revolver. The dance was resumed twenty minutes after his body had been

removed.



“Jim Joyce and a desperado named Page soon got into a rough and tumble fight, however, over

the proprietorship of a girl known as Beaver Tooth Nell, and it ended by Page shooting Joyce

fatally. Sergeant Green of Company M, Fifth Cavalry, attempted to disarm Page, and received

a shot which necessitated the amputation of his leg. He will probably die.



“The soldiers at once retaliated by firing their revolvers into the Page crowd as they rushed out

on the prairie. The women, scantily dressed, here returned from the rooms to which they had

withdrawn, and ran screaming about the place, and the scene that followed baffles description.



“The melee ended in a rough and tumble fight between the cowboys and the soldiers, which

would have resulted in a terrible loss of life but for the timely arrival of the military from the

post.



“One of the females had an eye knocked out during the melee, while two cowboys, whose

names are unknown, were badly wounded. The murderer Page is in the guard house, and the

soldiers threaten to lynch him.”



The unfortunate Sergeant Green died of his wounds about a month later. The fate of Page is

unknown, but it seems certain he came to a bad end.


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Other Publications

The Bachelors’ Protective Union of Kearney

When the Bachelors' Protective Union gave a gala reception for two of its newly married, former members and their brides in March of 1890, the social club for young, ...

U.S. Weather Bureau in 1890s Nebraska

The U.S. Weather Bureau was established by an act of Congress on October 1, 1890. It took over the weather service that had been established in the office of the Chief ...

Canning the Way to Victory

During American participation in World War I the U.S. Food Administration, under the direction of Herbert Hoover, launched a massive campaign to persuade Americans to ...

The Shoemaker’s Ashes

"Edward Kuehl, one of the most peculiar characters that ever lived in Omaha, or anywhere else, was found dead in his bed last night in the back room of his place of ...

Crazy Horse Surrender Ledger Foreward

Red Dog, an Oglala Lakota who lived at the Red Cloud Agency, Nebraska, 1876-77 (Nebraska State Historical Society RG2955.ph).   In the summer of 1876, following the ...

Darryl F. Zanuck

Darryl F. Zanuck Darryl F. Zanuck (1902-1979), a native Nebraskan, produced some of Hollywood's most important and controversial films. He helped found 20th Century Fox ...

The Burlington’s Profitable Pork Special

Nebraska railroads were much concerned with developing an adequate economy in the areas they served. The Burlington, for example, had a long history of caring for the ...

Bungalow Filling Stations

After the giant Standard Oil Company was broken into thirty-four separate companies in 1911, the newly independent Standard Oil of Nebraska dominated the state's market ...

The Bull Fight

This is the perfect time of year for a visit to the old fishin' hole. But a group of fisherfolk from Plainview discovered that this bucolic pastime sometimes has ...

Buffalo Soldiers West

African-American soldiers on the western frontier are the focus of an exhibit at the Nebraska History Museum in Lincoln. Buffalo Soldiers West, on loan from the Colorado ...

Protection for Buffalo

The extermination of the buffalo on the Plains occurred largely between 1870 and 1885. The Nebraska State Journal of Lincoln on February 1, 1874, editorialized in vain ...

Buffalo Hunting

In late October 1877 young Rolf Johnson and three friends left their homes in Phelps County, Nebraska, for a buffalo hunt in northeastern Colorado. The hunt was not very ...
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