“Wild Bill” Hickok Court Documents

James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok (1837-76), a native of Illinois, relocated to Kansas in 1855 and joined the free state forces. Before and during the Civil War, Hickok was employed as a driver for Russell, Majors, & Waddell, who operated freighting and stagecoach lines. While in their employ, he came to Rock Creek Station in Jefferson County, Nebraska Territory, which the company had agreed to purchase from David McCanles. It was here that what became known as the Hickok/McCanles affair occurred on July 12, 1861. During a dispute over funds from the sale of the station Hickok killed McCanles.

James Butler

Territory of Nebraska

County of Gage

The Complainant and informant, Leroy McCanles of the County of Johnson, Territory afore said Made before T. M. Coulter Esquire one of the Justices of the Peace in and for Gage County, on the 13th day of July 1861, who being duly sworn on his own oath says that the crime of Murder has been Committed in the County of Jones and that Dutch Bill, Dock and Wellman (their other names not known) committed the same

Subscribed and

Sworn to before me (signature of) _ L. McCanles

This 13th day of July 1861

T. M. Coulter

Justice of the Peace

James Butler


Territory of Nebraska

County of Gage

To Monroe McCanles, you are hereby Commanded to appear before me at my Office at Beatrice forthwith to Testify on the part of the Territory against Duck Bill, Dock and Wellman

Dated at Beatrice this 15th day of July AD 1861

T. M. Coulter

Justice of Peace

James Butler

List of Trial Expenses

This is the Bill of Costs in the Case of Territory of Nebraska agaiinst Wm. B. Hickok, J. W. Brink & Horace G. Wellman, on a Charge of Murder which was not Sustained. and the Costs have to Come off of the County. 

Said Cause was examined before me,

on July 15_16 & 18th AD 1861.

T. M. Coulter J. P.

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