Posts Tagged ‘Doc Middleton’

Dahlman & Middleton: Characters of the Old West

February 4, 2009
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

The Cowboy’s Race Threatened by Humane Society

January 27, 2009

middleton-doc-1893

THE COWBOY’S RACE.
Only a Few Start on Account of the Threats of the Humane Society.

CHADRON, Neb., June 14. — Of the 25 or 30 cowboys entered in the race to Chicago, only a third started. The numerous withdrawals were due to the efforts of the Humane Society. Among the starters were:

“Doc” Middleton and John Fagg of Northern Nebraska; “Snake Creek Tom” of Snake Creek, Wyo.; “Rattlesnake Pete,” Creede, Col.; “Cock-Eyed Bill” of Manville, Wyo.; Sam Bell, of Deadwood; Jim Murray of Eagle Pass, Tex.; Nick Jones, a half-breed of Pine Ridge Agency, S.D.; He Dog and Spotted Wolf, Sioux, from the Rosebud Agency.

miss-hutchinson-lightning-squaw-1893

Miss Hutchinson, a well-known rider of Denver, who, at the solicitation of those who have seen her wonders in riding, entered the race, withdrew at the last moment.

Miss Hutchinson is known in every State and Territory west of the Mississippi. By her feats in horsemanship she has gained a national reputation. She went to Montana when a mere girl, and for ten years has ridden the Western range. Among the Sioux she has a great reputation, and the Indians revere her, calling her the “Lightning Squaw.”

The route to Chicago will be through Sioux City, when the Missouri will be crossed and Dubuque, the Mississippi crossing.

The committee having charge of the cowboy race have offered $1,000 to be divided up into prizes for the winners, and Col. Cody (Buffalo Bill) has added $500 to this sum. The Colt Arms Company have offered one of their “cowboy companions,” and an Omaha firm contributes a saddle to the list of prizes.
Threaten Prosecution.

middleton-equipped-for-race-1893

CHICAGO, June 14. — President Shortall, of the Illinois Humane Society, declared his intention to arrest and prosecute the participants in the race from Chadron to this city. He has gathered the opinions of eminent veterinary surgeons to the effect that it is not possible to make a continuous contest of endurance and speed between horses for a distance of fifty miles, much less 500, without the infliction of great suffering upon the animals. The Illinois statute on the subject provides a fine of $200 for cruelty, beating, torturing, tormenting, mutilating or cruelly killing, overloading, overriding or overworking any animal.

The Evening Democrat (Warren, Pennsylvania) Jun 14,  1893

Tom Crimmons Still Does his Daily Dozen

January 22, 2009
Tom Crimmons 1938

Tom Crimmons 1938

“Tom” Crimmons, 100, Tells His Reasons for Long Life
(Excerpt from article about 2 old residents)

NEBRASKA may have its off moments of heat and drouth and grasshoppers, but it seems a likely center for longevity…

Mr. Crimmons, born in County Cork, Ireland, found barren prairie when he went to Holt county, with herds of buffalo and other wild game an ordinary sight on the present Atkinson location. White settlers were few; hostile bands of Indians added to the troubles of the scattered settlers.

Born when Martin Van Buren was president of the United States, which was pretty much of an unknown land, Mr. Crimmons has an alert mind; reads with a glass, keeping abreast of current events; has had little dental work done; is erect in carriage. His hearing is somewhat impaired and he walks with a cane, due to a very serious accident.

Does Daily Dozen.
Early risers in Atkinson see Mr. Crimmons doing his daily dozen, lusty wood chopping. Only a few days before his birthday, he felled a huge dry cottonwood, although he admitted it was a bit hot for hewing to the line. His favorite relaxation is to sit in his porch rocker with his newspaper, to smoke. Mr. Crimmons and his brother-in-law, Thomas Hanrahann, who went to the county in 1880, live together, do all the household tasks and make a very good job of them.

Mr. Crimmons served four years in the Irish militia and worked on the Queenstown docks. At the age of thirty-one, in March, 1869, he came to this country, obtained employment on the Salem, Mass., docks, shouldering loads of 300 pounds and more with the greatest of ease. After eight years, he took up residence five miles from Atkinson, where his brother had preceded him by two years.

Haystacker and John Deere Tractor 1929

Haystacker and John Deere Tractor 1929

Years ago, the fork of a haystacker fell on Mr. Crimmons, breaking both legs and arms and mangling and crushing his hands. It was believed that if he did live, he would be a total invalid. He eventually laughed at all the dire prophecies. When he was eighty-eight, Mr. Crimmons had a severe illness, and again his life was despaired of. Again he laughed. He has not had a serious illness since that time.

In early days he was personally acquainted with many interesting pioneer characters. He was well acquainted with Doc Middleton, notorious Nebraska outlaw. When asked what he thought of Middleton, he replied: “I knew him well … regardless of what folks say he never robbed or harmed the poor settlers of this territory. He was a good man … but he traveled with a tough gang.”

A Nebraska Dugout

A Nebraska Dugout

Mr. Crimmons built the first shack in Long Pine and lived later in a dugout on the townsite of the present Bassett.

No special celebration was held for the birthday, but the following Tuesday Mr. Crimmons’ sister-in-law, Mrs. John Crimmons, and Mrs. Joe Corrigan, were present at a birthday dinner. Several old friends called during the day.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Aug 7,  1938