Dahlman & Middleton: Characters of the Old West

Jim Dahlman and Doc Middleton

Jim Dahlman and Doc Middleton

Last Week’s Picture

In 1910 Omaha’s Mayor James C. Dahlman (nearest the camera) used an auto during his unsuccessful campaign, from a “wet” platform, for the governorship. He promised to serve free beer on the Statehouse lawn on his inauguration day, but lost the election to Chester Aldrich.

“Cowboy Jim” Dahlman left Texas in his late teens as a fugitive from justice. In 1878, at age 22, he made his way to Sidney, assuming the name of Jim Murray. From there, in the dead of winter, he took a stagecoach northward. The stage was so crowded that passengers had to take turns walking alongside, despite a six-inch snowfall. This proved too much for Dahlman-Murray, who drew his gun, ordered everyone out of the stage, climbed in himself and threatened to shoot the first man who suggested he walk again.

Dahlman worked on a ranch north of Gordon, then operated a cattle ranch and meat market in Chadron. He was elected sheriff of Dawes County for three terms and mayor of Chadron for two terms, then moved to Omaha. There he soon became involved in politics again and was elected mayor, serving in that office from 1906 until his death in the early 1930s, with the exception of three years.

The man in the left rear seat of the auto is said to be Doc Middleton, another character of the Old West.

Lincoln Evening Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Aug 17, 1975

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2 Responses to “Dahlman & Middleton: Characters of the Old West”

  1. Carl Steiger Says:

    James C. Dahlman is listed in the Belle Fourche Bee in 1926 as being one of Captain Seth Bullock’s Cowboy Brigade that went to Washington DC in March of 1905 to ride in the inaugural parade for Teddy Roosevelt. Is there a published account on Dahlman that states he went on this trip?

  2. mrstkdsd Says:

    Hi Carl,

    I will take a look and see what I can find. I will email you if I find something. Thanks for letting me know about it.

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