Posts Tagged ‘Nebraska’

Mayor Dahlman Lassos The Japanese

November 17, 2009

SURPRISE FOR JAPANESE.

Omaha’s Cowboy Mayor Frightened Oriental Visitors by Lassoing Them.

It came to light recently that James Dahlman, the cowboy mayor of Omaha, “roped” M. Takagi and M. Ogiko, editors of the Law Journal of Tokyo, who are studying jurisprudence in the United States and who stopped over in Omaha for a day and were entertained by distinguished citizens, says an Omaha special dispatch to the New York Times.

The Japanese had heard that Mayor Dahlman had been a cow puncher on the western plains. They asked him about it, and for answer the mayor picked up a rope, and before his visitors knew what had happened he had stepped across the room and thrown it over the head of M. Takagi, immediately afterward picking up another one and lassoing M. Ogiko.

The Japanese did not know anything about roping cattle, and the mayor’s stunt not only astonished, but frightened them, causing them to jump to their feet, their faces pale, and cry out. Their fears were dispelled when the mayor laughed heartily and took the ropes off their necks.

“Do you lasso people and tie them down when they break your laws?” asked M. Ogiko.

“No; we only lasso cattle,” said the mayor, and then he told them all about roping steers, much to their delight.

Mansfield News (Mansfield, Ohio) Jun 17, 1907

Fred M. Hans: Indian Fighter and Frontier Scout

November 7, 2009

Frederick Hans pic

HEAD OF NORTHWESTERN RAILROAD’S FORCE A DEAD SHOT.

Train Robbers Fear Fred Hans — Although “Fred” is Mild-Mannered His Colt .45 Has Laid Low Many Western Desperadoes.

Western bandits who prey upon the express treasure and passengers carried by the railroads have been so active of late that the managers of properties in that section are making extra efforts to outwit the robbers. The success of Messenger Baxter in killing a road agent on the Burlington, near Omaha, a few weeks ago has put new life into the railroad people. The Union Pacific, the Burlington, the Rock Island, and the Northwestern out of Omaha are arming their messengers anew with Winchester “pump” guns, having new shells with sixteen buckshot each loaded for them, and in other ways are preparing to exterminate the first road agent band that attempts to hold up one of their trains.

Every large railroad operating out of Omaha employees from one to a dozen men whose exclusive duty it is to protect their trains from bandit raids, trail the robbers after they hold up the train, and chase them into the fastnesses of the mountains and kill or capture them. Of all the famous characters who have made bandit hunting a business, none is better known than Frederick Hans of Omaha, who is chief of the Northwestern bandit hunters. For years it has been the business of Frederick Hans to protect the treasure trains of that company operating through the Black Hills.

fighting a gang pic

From Deadwood to Omaha the Northwestern carries the treasure of the great Homestake mines. During some months this company ships over $100,000 in treasure over this road. The lines of the company are operated for many miles through a wild and desolate section after leaving Deadwood. It is a most inviting spot for the work of road agents. The fact that these treasure trains escape the raids of bandits is undoubtedly due to their fear of the man who is the head of the force of bandit hunters the company employs.

Mild -Mannered but Dangerous.

Fred Hans is a mild-mannered fellow with blue eyes and of most affable address. As he saunters along the streets of Omaha he is about the last man in the world one would pick out for desperate work with rifle and revolver. Yet this same pleasant-appearing fellow, with his careless smile has been in more desperate affrays with road agents, killed more outlaws, and sent more to penitentiaries than any man in the West today. “Fred,” as he is known to nine-tenths of the people of Omaha that he gets a chance to see once a month or so, but most of his time is spent “up in the hills,” circulating among that element that is most likely to engage in hold-ups.

It is his business to locate all these characters the moment train is held up in his territory. This he can very nearly place the responsibility for a train robbery in the Northwest the day after it occurs. Incidentally, it may be said that Fred Hans carries a considerable number of bullet wounds on his person, slight testimonials of his many desperate fights.

Shacknasty Jim pic

Above image from the American Antiquarian Society website.

Another image and The Modoc Indians: A Native American Saga
by Cheewa James, Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma
(Shacknasty Jim’s great-grandson) can be found HERE.

It was Fred Hans who went into the “Hole in the Wall” after “Shacknasty Jim” and his outlaw band and killed the leader and two of his companions before he returned. Again Fred Hans met five members of the famous “Robbers’ Roost” gang one bright morning on the Running Water in South Dakota. He had but shortly before that been instrumental in piloting a posse of Custer citizens to the lair of the band where nine of them had been killed, and they thought to get even. The fire road agents waited until Hans rode close to the sand hill behind which they were hiding, then rode down on him, firing their rifles as they galloped. A fortunate shot passed through the heart of the horse that Hans  was riding. Using the animal for a shield, the railroad bandit hunter got out his heavy pistols and began business right there. He only shot four times. The first bullet he fired passed through the heart of the nearest bandit, the next one struck one of the horses of the oncoming gang and killed it, the third bullet passed through the head of another bandit, killing him instantly, and the fourth passed through the body of one of the gang and he died later. The two remaining members of the band surrendered and were taken into Custer by Hans. The men he killed on the spot were known as “Texas Fleet Foot” and “Mountain Pete.” The other tow, “Long Tom” and “Skinny,” were sent to the penitentiary for life.

Colt’s 45’s His Choice.

This is the kind of a man who guards the Northwestern treasure trains through the territory west of the Mississippi River. He is probably the quickest and deadliest shot with a revolver in the West. He carries two enormous “forty-fives” of the Colt pattern of thirty years ago. The fact that the guns are of the vintage of another generation does not worry Fred Hans. He has been presented by different people with a number of handsome modern pistols, but he says he can’t shoot them like his[he] can his own “irons.”

Discussing bandit hunting and the methods of road agents in holding up trains, a few days ago Fred Hans said recently:

“It requires a man of very desperate courage to undertake to handle a railroad train crowded with passengers. Of course, you find men every day who are willing to take the chances involved in spite of the fact that few of them escape the consequences long enough to enjoy whatever they have secured in the hold-up. In truth, it is not the act of robbing the train that requires the greatest exhibition of skill and daring, but rather the escape after the crime has been committed. You see, in robbing a train the band stands little chance of opposition. Passengers are as a rule unarmed. and the express messengers are not in a position to make much of a fight. The use of dynamite by road agents is a terrifying element for express messengers. The minute the bandits start to make their escape, however, they come in contact with fighting men who are as well armed and well mounted as they are knows how to use their guns. This is the element of danger that deters many bandits from attacking a railroad train.

“When a gang of men contemplate a hold-up now, the first thing they do is to arrange for their escape. A route of retreat is selected, and the bandits go over the trail, so that they can follow it, night or day. They frequently secrete food for themselves and horses along the route and lay in plenty of ammunition. The Black Hills and the country in Southern Wyoming are favorite resorts for train robbers these days. Here most of the desperate road agents live. These men are, however, not of the class that will undertake single handed to rob a train. They operate like the James gang did, but of course are not so dangerous, because they have not the sympathy of the community in which they operate. They are not so expert with firearms as the James gang, neither are they bound together by associations such as made the James gang so successful. Those bandits merely trust each other as long as they are together, and they know it is a matter of self-preservation

Bandits’ Outfits Expensive.

“The same energy, hardship and daring these men expend in robbing trains, if turned into honest channels would reap for them a great deal more substantial profits than the dangerous business they engage in, but they are attracted by stories of enormous hauls, made by train robbers and dazzled by reports in the newspapers that this or that gang secured a hundred thousand dollars in a raid. Of course these raids sometimes net the robbers a big sum, but in most cases they do not get enough to pay the expense of the undertaking. It costs a pile of money for a gang of six or seven Western desperadoes to prepare for a train hold up. They must have the best horses money will buy, they must get a city crook, as a rule to handle the dynamite; they must have white powder for their guns in the event of a collision with a posse, which is quite certain, and a thousand little details. The minute the news of a hold-up is flashed over the wire we start posses from a dozen different points. These close in on the robbers. The road agents are afraid to split up in the face of a possible fight. They know they will be killed one at a time if they do not stick together. That is their only chance and of course it makes the trail easier for us to follow.

Tracking Bandits pic

“The ‘Hole in the Wall’ country is the place these Western bandits now make for. That is a wild section and most difficult of access. If the gang gets in there it is hard to get at them. Usually we merely wait for them to come out, and then we get ’em.

“Most of the bandits we come in contact with are of the most desperate character. Of course they know that sooner or later they will die with their boots on. Most of them are wanted for some crime that would keep them in the penitentiary for life if it would not carry them to the scaffold, and so of course they will not surrender. I usually hunt these characters singly and with only my pistols. It is my experience that in the wild country, a desperate character, seeing a lone man who does not carry a rifle, will permit him to approach where otherwise he would hide if the same man was armed with a rifle or accompanied by others. With my pistols I can get close to a bandit on the plains and then I jump from my horse, use the animal as a breast-work, and begin to shoot before the robber expects the attack. He surrenders or is killed, just as he prefers. My experience is that a quick shot with a pistol is worth a dozen long-range shots with rifles.

Deadly Range of 300 Yards.

“I have had some measure of success hunting road agents and have been forced to kill some of these desperate characters, but all of my work has been done with a heavy revolver. I do not recall a fight I have been in, except possibly when I was scouting in the Indian service, where I used anything but my revolvers. I can kill a man at 300 yards every shot with my pistol. I carry on my watch chain today a rifle bullet I cut from the heart of my horse. It is a souvenir of the fight I had with the ‘Robbers’ Roost’ gang on the Running Water. The man who fired the shot used a Winchester and was firing at me from a distance of 500 yards. Before he reached the range of my pistols he had probably shot at me six times, one of his bullets plowing a furrow through the top of my scalp, but the moment he came within range of my heavy revolver I placed a bullet squarely between his eyes. This was Fleet Foot, probably one of the worst murderers and road agents the West has ever produced.

“I usually carry three heavy revolvers when hunting road agents, and carry about 500 extra shells. I would rather have plenty of cartridges than plenty of food when I am looking for real bad people. My experience, however, is that train robbing has been made so dangerous that it is losing its popularity and will totally disappear in a few years.

Davenport Daily Leader (Davenport, Iowa) Nov 7, 1900

Frederick Hans pic2 full

ESCAPED ROBBER CAPTURED

Frank Daniels of Omaha Placed Under Arrest.

OMAHA, Neb., Aug. 5. — (Special) —

Frank Daniels of this city, was taken to Logan, Harrison county, Iowa, this evening on a requisition charging him with robbing a freight car. His arrest grew out of the arrest of Dick Latta, by Special Detective Hans on the night of July 6, near California Junction on the Northwestern road. The detective secreted himself beside the boxes of goods that had been thrown from the train and Latta and his companion were caught when they came to get the good. Latta was held, but the companion escaped after Detective Hans fired four shots. Latta is a young man twenty-two years old living with his mother at 1622 Burt street. Daniels is one of the Daniels brothers who live near the railroad tracks in a shanty. Daniels proves to be the brother of Officer Hans’ first wife, and it is said by the friends of Latta that the two Daniels brothers got Latta into the trouble for the purpose of making some cheap glory for the detective, the plan being to allow them to escape and to hold Latta. Latta had refused to tell who was with him, and the detective showed a lack of enterprise in finding out. Latta today signed an affidavit implicating Daniels. Daniels once lived at Blair.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Aug 6, 1901

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“Detective Fred Hans, of the Elkhorn road is getting a whole glob of notoriety out of an arrest he made over in Harrison county a few days ago. It seems that Hans got Francis Daniels to go in cahoots with a fella by the name of Dick Latta for the purpose of plundering a freight car so that the great detective could get a chance to arrest someone just to convince the officials of the railroad that he was still true and always working for their interests.

Yesterday’s Bee contained a long article by Daniels’ accomplice laying blame on him and making it look rather ‘fishy’ for Hans when we remember that Daniels is a brother-in-law, and another article gives an interview with Daniels who claims Latta was at the bottom of it. Both Daniels and Latta are in jail in Mo. Valley and the outcome of the robbery will be watched with a great of interest by residents of this place. Daniels was arrested here three years ago for having stolen Emmett Bolt’s carpenter tools and served several months for the job. Everybody here knows Detective Hans and this escapade only brings to mind the time when a couple of men were sent to the pen for stealing corn, when it looked mighty much like Hans had his hand in the planning of the theft. Great is Hans the Detective!”

Blair Courier (Blair, Nebraska) Aug 8, 1901

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“Fred Hans is surely getting his share of the ills of life since he did that wonderful piece of detective work when he landed young Latta behind the bars for breaking into a freight car near California Junction a couple of weeks ago. Hans was arrested last week over there on the charge of conspiracy and his hearing set for the 20th inst, but on Monday, Francis Daniels confessed in his part in the crime and ‘peached’ on Hans as the bloke who put up the job, his trial has now been set for September 10th.

The people of Blair and Washington county are watching this case with a great deal of interest and when they think of the ‘smooth’ work of this chief of detectives of the F. E. they are inclined to let their memory wander back to the time when they were kids and read “Old Sleuth” novels behind the corn crib and wonder if that wasn’t where Freddie got his inspiration to become a detective. To hear Hans tell it he has had many close calls and narrow escapes but never got in too late. From reading the World Herald of a couple of years ago we are constrained to believe that paper has a reporter who has a vivid imagination or was allowing Hans to make a big sucker out of him, when it told of Hans being a government scout for a number of years and describing some of his adventures on the border. In the light of this case folks are now bringing to mind many pieces of work that could be traced to his instigation.

Blair Courier (Blair, Nebraska)  Aug 22, 1901

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Governor Savage issued an extradition warrant yesterday and immediately evened up the population of the state by issuing a requisition. The man extradited is Special Detective Fred M. Hans of Omaha who is charged with hatching a conspiracy to have a Northwestern train robbed of freight so he could reap the glory of a capture. Hans was sent to Logan, Ia., just across the Missouri river, where he is wanted on the charge of perjury. Frank Daniels, brother-in-law of Hans, was one of the two men implicated in the robbery. Dick Latta who was captured says he was led into a trap. Hans swore at one of he hearings that Daniels was not present when the capture was made, and Daniels testified that he was present. The requisition was for James Toman, under arrest at Cedar Rapids, Ia., who is wanted at South Omaha on the charge of assaulting James Koskeh, August 20, with intent to murder.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Aug 27, 1901

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HANS CHARGED WITH PERJURY.

LOGAN, Ia., Aug. 27, — The latest case of Fred M. Hans of Omaha, the railway detective charged with perjury in the Latta-Daniels arrests, has been set for September 2. He has retained Rodifer & Arthur of this place to defend him.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Aug 29, 1901

Gavel

IN THE GOVERNOR’S COURT

GARNETT C. PORTER OBJECT OF A REQUISITION.

DID HE SWEAR FALSELY?

Case Continued Till Tuesday to Give Porter’s Attorney’s Time

Governor Savage sat as a court yesterday and listened to argument from an attorney who told him why he should honor a requisition from the governor of Iowa for the return of Garnett C. Porter to Logan, Ia., on the charge of perjury. He also heard two able attorneys set forth reasons why he should not do any such thing. The day was warm and the governor took off his coat to permit the oratory to have its full effect. At the conclusion of the hearing he gave the defendant until Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. to show further cause why the requisition should not be honored. Mr. Porter was represented by Frank Ransom and Will F. Gurley of Omaha and the great state of Iowa was represented with due dignity by George William Egan of Logan.

Mr. Porter appears to have got into all this trouble through a desire to act as a press agent for a detective who was going out to make a raid on robbers of freight trains. Mr. Porter is a newspaper correspondent living at Omaha. When Special Detective Fred Hans invited him out to see the fun he could not resist the temptation to become a war correspondent for a short time. After two robbers were caught, Dick Latta and another man, the latter escaping in some mysterious manner, it was charged in the newspapers that the detective concocted the robbery and that his brother-in-law was the man who got away. Latta was held and pleaded guilty. The robbery of the cars took place on the Northwestern railroad on the Iowa side of the Missouri river and therefore the trial of Latta took place at Logan. Latta finally signed an affidavit charging that Hans and his brother-in-law hatched the burglary and induced him to enter into the scheme. Hans and Porter both made statements in court in regard to the case which led to the charge of perjury. Hans was taken to Iowa and gave bond for this appearance. Now an effort is being made to get Mr. Porter on Iowa soil to answer to similar charge.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Oct 23, 1901

scales of justice

GUILTY OF MURDER.

Sioux City, Ia., Oct. 24. — Fred M. Hans, formerly a railroad detective, well known in the west, has been found guilty of the murder of David Luse on April, 1901, at Ainsworth, Neb., and was today sentenced to life imprisonment.

The Daily Review (Decatur, Illinois) Oct 24, 1903

I couldn’t find anymore about his murder/conviction, but he must have gotten released for one reason or another.

hans gravestone

Gravestone picture from Find-A-Grave, posted by Dennis & Gal Conn Bell.

SLAYER OF 23 DIES IN ACCIDENT

Famous Indian Warrior Crushed in Elevator Shaft

SAVED LIVES OF MANY

Defended Whites in Battle Against Red Men

OMAHA, Neb. — (Associated Press)–

Fighting, smiling, gray-haired, old “Lone Star” Fred M. Hans, Indian fighter, frontier scout and possibly last of the real “two gun cross arm draw” experts net death here last night with his “boots on.” But death did not come on the field of battle where he had so often faced it, nor on the wings of a bullet. He was crushed to death in an elevator shaft at the Omaha World Herald plant where he was night watchman.

Lone Star was caught by the elevator when he attempted to move the control lever from the outside and the lift suddenly shot upward.

Lone Star began his career as plainsman at the age of 16, when he left home to search for a brother kidnapped by Sioux Indians. He broke into fame first in 1876 in the “Hole in the Wall” country, Powder River, Wyoming, when single-handed he shot and killed “Shacknasty” Jim and his two fellow bandits. It was Lone Star’s hammer fanning that won the unequal fight.

The Indians called him “We-Cha-Pe-Wan-Ge-La,” which means Lone Star.

PROMINENT EVENTS

Other high spots of Hans’ life were:

Shot and killed two stage coach bandits April 12, 1877, near Valentine, Neb. Shot five Indians in battle of Little Missouri near Black Hills, August 31, 1877, saving the lives of a party of twenty prospectors. Killed eleven Indians with 12 shots, using both guns, hammer fanning, in the battle of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, in 1892 [I think this should be 1891]. Killed bandit Ainsworth, Nebraska in 1878. Shot and killed bandit in Fremont, Neb., in 1897. Was official war department investigator of Custer massacre and followed Sitting Bull six hundred miles on horseback, inducing him and his band to return to the reservation.

Was present at Sitting Bull’s death; was chief scoutmaster for General Phil Sheridan for six years; was chief special agent of the Northwestern railroad for years. In all Hans was credited with having killed eight white and twenty Indians.

“I was never beaten on the draw,” he often declared.

Until a month ago, Hans wore a scalp lock 13 inches long which he kept curled under a skull cap as he sat around in the Herald editorial rooms at night, often displaying his skill with his two guns to reporters and visitors.

“No one is after it now,” he explained when he ordered his lock cut off.

Lima News (Lima, Ohio) Apr 18, 1923

Gavel

DEATH CLAIM IS SETTLED

World Herald Company Pays $2,650 to Heirs of Nightwatchman Killed in Elevator.

State Compensation Commissioner, L.B. Frye has approved a lump sum settlement in which the World Herald Building company of Omaha paid $2,650 to the heirs of an employee, Fred M. Hans, night watchman who was instantly killed by a freight elevator of the World Herald building, April 17. The heirs agreed to this and the case was dismissed. The question of whether Hans had dependent heirs or was negligent in starting the elevator which killed him had arisen. The divorced wife, Roberta M. Hans, is alleged to have resumed marital relations. She was given $1,525 of the lump sum settlement and is to pay the cost of burial over and above $150 allowed by law for that purpose. The federal bill was $369. Lillian Caroline Budd, a child of the deceased watchman, was given $875. Grace L. Davis, another child was given $100.

The Evening State Journal and Lincoln Daily News (Lincoln, NE) Sep 21, 1923

*****

great sioux nation-1

Read the book written by Fred Hans: (Google Books link)

The great Sioux nation:  A complete history of Indian life and warfare in America By Frederic Malon Hans. 1907

Chaska and Corabelle: Painted Red

February 6, 2009

chaska-fellows-marriage-pic-1888

DETERMINE TO DO IT.
Miss Cora Fellows and Chaska to be Married Today.

Invitations Are Issued and the Event Will be Celebrated by a Dance at Swift Bird’s Camp — Miss Fellows’ Big Brother Will be Present and it is Hinted Will Lead the War Dance.

PIERRE, Dak., March 23. — To-marrow is the day set for the marriage of Miss Cora Fellows, the pretty, infatuated and determined school teacher at Swift Bird, to Chaska, the big buck Sioux Indian. The postponement of the wedding to March 24th, which Miss Fellows’ friends fondly hoped would evolve some means of breaking off the match, has not served its purpose. Every possible arguement has thus far been used, but without avail. Invitations were issued to friends to attend a ball at Swift Bird’s camp to-morrow night by Miss Fellows. Chaska delivered them to the guests and the nuptial knot will be tied to-morrow by Rev. Handforth. Word comes from Fort Bennett that Miss Fellows’ brother has arrived from Chicago and will stop the marriage. A scene is looked for.

Bismarck Daily Tribune (Bismarck, North Dakota  ) Mar 24, 1888

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Sneaking Sam Campbell.
PIERRE, Dak., April 2. — The marriage of Miss Cora Fellows to the Indian, Chaska, is finally accomplished. Around the Indian agency Chaska is known as Sam Campbell, and is a worthless thieving Santee without any white blood in his veins, and not the Indian missionary which recent reports have announced.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) Apr 3, 1888

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IT NOW TURNS out that Miss Cora Fellows married the Indian, Chaska, simply to advertise herself. She wants to write a novel, and is under the impression that her marriage will create so much talk that people will be crazy to read her book. Perhaps her story deals with border life, and she is trying to get the proper local color. “Painted Red” would be a good title for her novel.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 5, 1888

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Mrs. Chaska May Make a Show.
PIERRE. April 10. — Special to the Sioux City Journal: Much has been said pro and con, regarding the marriage of Chaska, the Indian, to Miss Cora Belle Fellows, the late Washington City belle. There no longer exists any doubt about the ceremony being performed at Swift Bird’s camp, on the Missouri, sixty miles above this city. Owing to the heavy run of ice, it has been impossible to get any authentic report until to-day. Last week a telegram from a St. Paul dime museum was sent to this city to be delivered to Mrs. Chaska, nee Fellows, offering her and her husband $5,000 to appear in a ten weeks’ engagement as freaks. The telegram was delivered to a messenger and by him delivered to Mrs. Chaska. Today the messenger returned from Swift Bird’s camp, having accomplished his mission. The messenger states that Mrs. Chaska and her husband received the offer in a friendly manner and wrote the museum for a few days in which to consider the matter.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) Apr 11, 1888

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THE marriage of Mr. Chaska, the Sioux Indian, and Miss Fellows has attracted more attention than any marriage of a similar kind since Miss Pocahontas became the better-half of John Rolfe. The only drawback about the latter wedding was that it made a possibility of that human wasp — John wasp — John Randolph of Roanoke. However, if Mr. and Mrs. Chaska get along as well together in the nuptial harness as Mr. and Mrs. Rolfe, the friends of the bride can afford to overlook the obliquity of her choice.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Apr 11, 1888

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One Indian Civilized.
The Minneapolis Tribune is malicious. It says: “As it becomes generally known that Mrs. Chaska, nee Fellows, was a maiden 45 years of age, and her husband is a young, untutored savage, popular pity will be transferred from the bride to the groom, and his taste, instead of hers, will be criticized.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Apr 25, 1888

Richard F. Outcault, "The Amateur Dime Museum in Hogan's Alley," cartoon, New York World 4 Oct. 1896

Richard F. Outcault, "The Amateur Dime Museum in Hogan's Alley," cartoon, New York World 4 Oct. 1896

The Museum Thronged to See Mrs. Chaska and “Sam-u-el”

ST PAUL, May 7 — The dime museum where Mr. and Mrs. Campbell (Chaska) began to receive the public was thronged this afternoon. Mrs. Campbell don’t like the Indian name. She calls him “Sam-u-el.” Chaska is 6 feet 8 inches tall and as straight as an arrow. He is a rather good looking fellow when he talks but usually he is sullen. He can speak excellent English if he will, having spent two years in the Lincoln institute in Philadelphia. He has rather fine features, but small pox has left its mark upon his face and he has the high cheek bone and straight black hair of the Indian. He is 23 years old. Mrs. Chaska is a mite of humanity being just 5 feet 1 inch in height. She is rather slender, not pretty until she begins to talk and then she is bright and interesting.

Bismarck Daily Tribune (Bismarck, North Dakota) May 8, 1888

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A Dime Museum Lie.

WASHINGTON, May 10. — The father of Cora Belle Fellows, who recently married Chaska, a Sioux, says that the story sent from St. Paul yesterday that the newly married couple had accepted an offer of $5,000 for ten weeks engagement in a dime museum is an outrageous lie. It is suspected some museum manager proposed exhibiting some bogus Mr. and Mrs. Chaska.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) May 10, 1888

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CHASKA AND HIS BRIDE.

The Curiously-Mated Pair From the Cheyenne Reservation.
From the St. Paul Pioneer-Press.

She is here. Not the character about whom Haggard wrote, but Miss Cora Belle Fellows-Campbell, the young lady who sacrificed home ties to become the wife of Samuel Campbell, better known as Chaska. Mrs. Campbell was attired in a neat black satin dress trimmed with passementerie. She is twenty-eight years old, is not pretty, but fair-looking. One pretty feature about her face is her beautiful, regular-set teeth. She is apparently about five feet four inches in height. Chaska, the sly young Lothario who wooed and won her, lounged on a divan apparently contented with his surroundings. He wore a buckskin shirt and moccasins trimmed with beads. He wore common plebeian pants, which goes to show that he is becoming civilized by the influence of his pale-faced bride. He is six feet two inches in height, has the regulation straight black hair, which has been cut to keep pace with his rapid strides toward civilization. He is 25 years of age. His face shows marks of smallpox, but the prominent cheek bones, characteristic of the Indian, are not so noticeable. He speaks fairly good English, writes plainly, and seems rather bright, but yesterday he was a stranger in a strange land under exceedingly strange circumstances, and he was not in a talkative mood. In fact, a short, gruff “yes” or “no” was about the only answer tht could be gotten from him. But his wife is a brilliant and entertaining conversationalist. Mrs. Campbell chatted pleasantly with all the callers. When asked on what date they were married she replied: “We were married March 16 at St. Stephen’s by the Rev. Dr. Hanford, an Episcopal rector. We have been married on so many different dates by the newspapers that I hardly know myself when we were married.”

Mrs. Campbell has with her their marriage certificate to prove the date, and also to assure doubting ones that they are the much advertised couple. When asked about her parents she said that of course they had been opposed to the marriage. When she left Washington, about three years ago, she was cautioned not to fall in love with an Indian. When she married Chaska her mother wrote telling her that she would not disown her, but that their correspondence must cease. Then, when it became known that efforts were being made to induce her to go on exhibition, her mother wrote that if she took this last step her daughter and herself would be obliged to leave the country. They could not remain in Washington with such a social disgrace hanging over them. Mrs. Campbell, continuing, said:

“I understand father has decided to accept an offer to go to South America. I know just what I am doing. I knew that my parents would not support me now. Influences have been brought to bear, so that I will probably lose my school. My husband has no money, but I love him, and I saw this chance to make enough money to buy a farm and make us independent, so I grasped this opportunity.”

Mrs. Campbell, while not anxious to talk to strangers, answered all questions pleasantly and proved herself an entertaining lady. She has with her a number of letters which she has received since her marriage and some are real curiosities. One gentleman writes, and, after admiring her for her pluck in marrying the man she loved, concludes by asking if she cannot find some pretty little Indian girl for him. Some censure her and others declare themselves in favor of her course.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) May 11, 1888

Dime Museum, Chicago, IL

Dime Museum, Chicago, IL

Chaska and Cora Expected Friday!
Poetic War-whoop.

Chicago Times.

From the northland can the steam cars,
Steam cars from the frigid northland
Bearing Chaska, Indian bridegroom;
Chaska, ???ter than the north wind;
Chaska, bravest of all chieftains.

Braver far than Hiawatha.
Braver far than Mudgekewis.
Braver far than old Nukumis,
Old Nukomis, injun grandma,
For he wooed the pale-faced maiden,
Maiden fair, of –umpty summers.

Fairest of all pale-faced maidens,
Cora Belle, the missionary;
Lived she on the reservation
All among the painted Injuns.

Them she taught to read and cipher;
She instructed in draw poker.
Till they went across the river
And did up the wily trader
Out of all his filthy lucre.

Fairer than the honeysuckle.
Fairer than the prairie daisy;
When she deigned unveil her features
All the birds did cease their singing,
All the rabbits stopped their playing,
And in many a distant city
All the clocks did cease their running.

So the preacher he united
Them in holy matrimony;
Chaska straightway then endowed her
With the sum of his possessions
Which they were a pair of mocc’sins
And a chaw of plug tobacco.

Then they hied them to the east-land
With a contract in his pocket,
Contract fat for him and Cora,
In dime museum to exhibit.
“We will win the filthy lucre,
Filthy lucre of the jays who
Come to see us in the museum,
When we’ve finished, we will toodly.

Toodly back to far Dakota,
And upon the reservation
We will open up a ranch where
Braves can purchase for a dollar
All the whiskey they can swallow!”

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota)  Jun 5, 1888

President Cleveland

President Cleveland

At the president’s reception Thursday, Chaska, the Indian, and his bride, Cora Bell Fellows, daughter of a clerk in the surgeon general’s office, shook hand with Mr. Cleveland.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jul 14, 1888

Cheyenne River Agency (Big Foot)

Cheyenne River Agency (Big Foot)

CHASKA AND HIS BRIDE
WASTING THE MONEY THEY EARNED IN THE MUSEUM.

St. Paul, Minn., Oct. 5. — The appearance of Chaska, the Indian, and his bride Cora Belle Fellows, the Washington girl who threw herself away upon the redskin, at the dime museum, is still fresh in the memory of Eastern people. Many inquiries have been made about the ill-assorted pair, and this morning Manager McFadden, in reply to an inquiry as to what had become of them, said: “Oh, they are back on their farm in Swift Bird’s camp. You remember we had to buy the farm and then we made them a present of it. But they didn’t stock it as the intended with the salary they got. We paid them $500 a week and expenses, and as they were engaged for 10 weeks they got a tidy little sum. After the second week she bought herself some diamond earrings and paid $600 for them. This contented the bride for a while, but in Chicago she wanted some dresses and they were the best she could buy. She bought an outfit, including a sealskin sacque, although it was midsummer, that cost her $1,200.

Then Mrs. Chaska began to fit out Sammy. She went to a swell tailor and had three suits of clothes made for him, one of which is a full dress suit. Then she bought him a gold watch and chain. The watch was a horse timer. Even then she was not satisfied, and she further adorned her redskin with a hug diamond ring and stud. Then the heart of Cora seemed happy, but her purse was empty. I don’t believe they had $500 when they got back home. What in the world they will do with all their diamonds and finery on the reservation is more than I can imagine.”

The New York Times, Oct 6, 1888

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HALF INJUN!
Chaska and Cora Belle are Dad and Mam.

FORT BENNETT, Dec. 25 — Mrs Chaska, nee Cora Belle Fellows, the society belle from Washington who created a sensation by marrying the Indian chief Chaska, of Cheyenne agency, is now a mother. On the 23d inst., at 12 o’clock m., a son was born, and mother and child are doing well. Since their return from the east the couple have resided at Swift Bird’s camp, and came to Fort Bennett a week ago to obtain the services of a Caucasian accoucheur. Chaska and his wife have lived beyond their means during the past year, spending hundreds of dollars in traveling, purchasing the finest clothing and squandering thousands in farming implements and horses and carriages. The farming implements are useless, as Chaska has no talents for farming, and prefers to take it easy as long as he possibly can.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) Dec 26, 1888

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Cora Belle Chaska wants a divorce from her Indian husband, so soon.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) Jun 24, 1891

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A Yankton dispatch announces the end of a romance as follows: Mrs. Chaska, nee Cora Bell Fellows, who was married at Cheyenne River agency three years ago to a Santee Sioux named Chaska, or Samuel Campbell, found life with her dusky spouse unbearable and is now living apart from him in a small town in southern Nebraska. Several months ago Chaska suddenly disappeared, and it was discovered that he had eloped with a young and buxom squaw. Mrs. Chaska, after waiting for his return for weeks, left the reservation with her half-breed children, vowing she would never live with Chaska again. Two weeks after she left Chaska returned to the agency, and is now living there with the woman who accompanied him in his elopement. He is happy and wants no more to do with his white wife.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) Feb 21, 1894

News a Year Old.
YANKTON, S.D., Feb. 22. — The story telegraphed from here about the desertion of his white wife by the Indian Chaska is an old one, the desertion having occurred a year ago.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) Feb 22, 1894

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CORA AND CHASKA.
A Romance Set Forth in Something Worse Than Blank Verse.

When Cora Belle Fellows was wedded to Chaska and came with her dusky liege? lord to Nebraska the skies seemed bedecked with a constant aurora and the little log hut seemed a palace to Cora. Months passed and a cloud grew above the horizon in the form of a squaw, and those women are “pizen.” Her eyes were as dark as the dismal hereafter and her hair was as straight as a 2×6 rafter.
The stout heart of Chaska succumbed to her graces, for an Indian knows what an elegant face is; and they met when the moon the calm atmosphere mellows, nor cared for the heartache of Cora Belle Fellows.
One night when the storm king? the coal scuttle looted this Chaska put on his red blanket and scooted away to the north with this maiden, nor tarried till he and fair Minnekadinetum were married. And Cora she waited and bore his abuses and hoped he’d return to his wife and papooses, but weeks rolled by till the looks of her cubbard reminded her sorely of Old Mother Hubbard.
Then Cora disheartened, disgusted and gaunted, deserted the home that her Chaska once haunted and mingled once more with her friends, broken hearted and Cora and Chaska forever are parted.
A moral this tale bears to gals who, through folly or strange love of romance, imagine it jolly to cast their sad lot with the sons of the wildwood and seek a divorce from the friends of their childhood. This romance is short as in this case related, for Cora now knows she was sadly mismated, and has, with the rest, the unahappy reflection of duty to half-breeds that need her protection.
The question of Indian civilization involves not the horrors of mixed procreation. An Indian has to be dead to be decent, which fact has been known a long time — is not recent — and history shows, from the best observations, that half-breeds are worse than their tribal relations.
I weep for poor Cora and both her papooses; I shudder to think what a gosling a goose is; I feel indignation that Chaska should leave her and skip with another and basely deceive her. and think that the law should receive a few patches to shut off these semi-barbarian matches.

Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Apr 23, 1894

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This “verse” was written in paragraph form, but I reformatted it to make it easier to read.

IN DESTITUTE CIRCUMSTANCES.

Such is the Condition in Which a Huron Lady Found Mrs. Chaska and Children.

When Cora Belle Fellows was wedded to Chaska
and came with her dusky liege? lord to Nebraska
the skies seemed bedecked with a constant aurora
and the little log hut seemed a palace to Cora.

Months passed and a cloud grew above the horizon
in the form of a squaw, and those women are “pizen.”
Her eyes were as dark as the dismal hereafter
and her hair was as straight as a 2×6 rafter.

The stout heart of Chaska succumbed to her graces,
for an Indian knows what an elegant face is;
and they met when the moon the calm atmosphere mellows,
nor cared for the heartache of Cora Belle Fellows.

One night when the storm king? the coal scuttle looted
this Chaska put on his red blanket and scooted
away to the north with this maiden, nor tarried
till he and fair Minnekadinetum were married.

And Cora she waited and bore his abuses
and hoped he’d return to his wife and papooses,
but weeks rolled by till the looks of her cupboard
reminded her sorely of Old Mother Hubbard.

Then Cora disheartened, disgusted and gaunted,
deserted the home that her Chaska once haunted
and mingled once more with her friends, broken hearted
and Cora and Chaska forever are parted.

A moral this tale bears to gals who, through folly
or strange love of romance, imagine it jolly
to cast their sad lot with the sons of the wildwood
and seek a divorce from the friends of their childhood.

This romance is short as in this case related,
for Cora now knows she was sadly mismated,
and has, with the rest, the unhappy reflection
of duty to half-breeds that need her protection.

The question of Indian civilization
involves not the horrors of mixed procreation.
An Indian has to be dead to be decent,
which fact has been known a long time — is not recent —
and history shows, from the best observations,
that half-breeds are worse than their tribal relations.

I weep for poor Cora and both her papooses;
I shudder to think what a gosling a goose is;
I feel indignation that Chaska should leave her
and skip with another and basely deceive her.
and think that the law should receive a few patches
to shut off these semi-barbarian matches.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) May 6, 1896

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Cora Belle Fellows, whose marriage to Chaska, a Sioux, created a sensation some years ago, has been deserted and left in destitution by her Indian husband. She came of an excellent Washington family, but fell in love with Chaska while teaching on the reservation near Pierre, S. Dak., and married him in spite of the opposition of her family. They acquired a fortune by exhibiting themselves in dime museums throughout the country, but he has squandered all her money and disappeared with a woman of his own race, leaving his wife with four children to support.

Fort Wayne News (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Jul 10, 1896

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CHASKA IS A SUICIDE.
Sioux Indian Who Married a White Woman Takes His Life

NIOBRARA, Neb., May 3. — Samuel Campbell Chaska committed suicide tonight. Chaska was a full-blooded Sioux Indian. Ten years ago he graduated with high honors at Carlisle and shortly became famous by marrying Cora Belle Fellows of Washington, D.C. Neither the beauty nor wealth of his fashionable society wife, nor his learning, acquired by years of study at Carlisle could eradicate the Sioux traits that generations had left in his blood. In a few years he drifted back to the reservation and sunk to the level of a common blanket Indian again. His wife left him some years ago.

Chaska was in jail at the time of his death charged with stealing horses. This is the first instance in which a fullblooded Sioux ever committed suicide. By marriage the man was related to one of the most prominent families in the east.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) May 4, 1898

CORA BELLE’S RED HUSBAND
CHASKA GOES TO THE PENITENTIARY TO CLOSE HIS CAREER

His White Wife Objected to His Relatives — After Separation Came Conviction for Stealing

Chaska, the half breed Sioux Indian, once the husband of the St. Louis girl, Cora Belle Fellows, was placed behind bars in the penitentiary last evening, where he will serve one year for stealing harness. A deep gash across his neck, made four weeks ago in an attempt to cut his throat, was still plainly seen when Chaska went into the penitentiary. The wound has almost healed and promises to give no more trouble. Neither will Chaska make another attempt upon his life, for he says he is sorry he tried to kill himself and he wants to be a good live Indian for many years. The report that he had committed suicide was published throughout the country and believed.

Sheriff A.W. Crandon of Niobara brought Chaska to Lincoln yesterday. They stopped at the Capital hotel where the tall, slender form of the Indian attracted general attention. Chaska is known in Knox county and on the Indian reservation as Sam Campbell. He is thirty-seven years old. His straight, black hair is worn shingled and while there are traces of beard on his face, very little is noticable except on the upper lip. What moustache he possessed was shaved off the day before he started to the prison. Although he was educated at the Indian school at Carlisle he uses very imperfect English. When about to make a statement to attorneys before being brought to prison, he called for an interpreter.

Chaska told the sheriff yesterday evening tht he needed no guard on the way from the city to the prison, because he would not try to escape for a thousand dollars. He was not handcuffed at any time on the way to Lincoln.

Sheriff Crandon gave his prisoner a little advice before he turned him over to the prison authorities. He told Chaska to obey orders and he would get along all right. Chaska said he certainly would, but he was fearful lest he should unwittingly break the rules or say something that would give offense. He was afraid h would not be able to understand the prison rules and as a result get punished.

For stealing harness from another Indian Chaska was convicted of burglary. Judge Robinson sentenced him to serve one year. Chaska is said to have been a partner with others in such business. At any rate he sold the stolen harness at the town of Niobrara for $20. He pleaded guilty and therefore had no trial. He has one brother, Dave Campbell, who is considered a terror, and another, who is very religious.

Chaska was a downcast Indian when in the Knox county jail. Some of his friends told him there were other counts against him and he was sure to get a sentence of about fourteen years. He thought death preferable to so long a term and in his dispair drew an old, dull jack knife across his throat.

When Sheriff Crandon brought Chaska’s breakfast in to him that morning he saw blood on the bunk.

“What have you done, Sam?” asked the sheriff.

“Cut my throat,” was the Indian’s almost inaudible answer.

“Well, here’s your breakfast. I’ll go and get a doctor,” said the sheriff.

In twenty minutes the sheriff returned with a doctor. They found that Chaska had found his breakfast and eaten half a piece of custard pie. The windpipe was partially severed and the sufferer could breathe only by dropping his chin close to his throat. Otherwise the air escaped through the gash instead of going into the lungs.

Chaska has received a great deal of notoriety over his marriage with a white woman, Cora Belle Fellows, who was a teacher in an Indian school. He has been represented as a finely educated lawyer, but those who know of his marriage say he has never followed any business except the show business. Soon after the marriage he and his wife gave exhibitions at Chicago. Chaska appeared in the gorgeous costume of a Sioux warrior. His wife appeared in a beautiful white satin dress. Chaska’s act was to kneel down and make a proposal of marriage and it was the part of the wife to accept gracefully the noble red man. For four years the couple travelled with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show.

There was only one thing that marred the pleasure of their domestic life. Chaska afterwards told about it. Mrs. Chaska got along pretty well with her husband, but she objected to the single file of big red bucks and squaws that seemed to be continually pigeontoeing to their house to visit, each one claiming to be a dear relative of Chaska. She drew the line at his relatives and then the divorce followed. It is reported that Mrs. Chaska is now in Missouri with her three Indian children and is taking in washing for a living. Since her departure from the scene Chaska has been living with a black, cross-eyeed squaw. They now have one child. When Chaska was about to be taken from the county jail to Lincoln the squaw visited him in his cell. She sat in the jail several hours without speaking to anyone, but in the cell she conversed with Chaska in their native tongue.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Jun 1, 1898

Corabelle Fellows Campbell Tillman and Family 1900

Corabelle Fellows Campbell Tillman and Family 1900

Corabelle Fellows married George Tillman about 1896. They had a daughter together, named Corabelle Tillman and were living in Jasper County, Missouri in 1900. Chaska and Corabelle’s children were living with them and are listed as step-children, under the name of Campbell.

blue-star-book-corabelle-fellows

Girl Teacher Is Heroine Of Indian Book
Blue Star, By Kunigunde Duncan (told from the life of Corabelle Fellows).
Caldwell, Idaho; The Caxton Printers. pp. 221. $2.50

Out of the crowded Washington drawing rooms of the eighties ventrued a frightened young girl still in her ‘teens to teach the Sioux Indians in the wind-swept Dakotas. Small, delicate, and used to the niceties of life, Corabelle Fellows remained at her post while other women teachers fled from Indian scares, the cold, and privations. The girl had an indomitable spirit, combined with real sympathy for the red people to whom she was offering the first taste of the white man’s knowledge. And the Indians, who valued above all things a brave heart gave her an affectionate title — Blue Star. Personalities like hers are fast disappearing as the frontiers of the west become past history.

In the days when the Dakotas were still a territory, and the far reaches of the prairies practically untouched by the encroaching white man, the Sioux Indians were still a primitive people, close to their age-old superstitions and customs. To Corabelle Fellows were disclosed the ways of Indian life that were kept secret to others — habits and usages that have since been changed by the years of white-man dominance. In her story Blue Star brings alive these early days — a fading picture that only the old-timers can give to our civilized day.

“Blue Star” in itself may not be amazingly significant, but it is one of Caxton’s western books which have proved to be invaluable mines of source material for the sociologish, historian, and novelist. — J.A.T.

Ogden Standard Examiner (Ogden, Utah) Nov 6, 1938

NEW CHILDREN”S BOOKS BASED ON OCCUPATIONS OF TODAY

Blind now and in her 70s Corabelle Fellows was a young girl of 18 when she left Washington society to teach the Sioux Indians in the Dakotas. The story of her childhood in the east and her stunning adventures in the west until her marriage have been told by her to Kunigunde Duncan to make the absoribing book. Blue Star (Caxton $2.50). Miss Fellows courage wond the Indians’ trust and customs usually kept secret from the white man were revealed to her. The sense of humor that carried her through hardship sets the tone of the book. Here is a fascinating reading for the teen-age girl (12 -16 year)

It would be well if every home with children could have one. good.

The Zanesville Signal (Zanesville, Ohio) Mar 13, 1939

“Blue Star” by Kunigunde Duncan can be purchased on Amazon.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Biographical note:
Flora (Kunigunde Duncan) Isely, b. 1886, wrote and published a great deal of poetry during the early 1900s and later wrote a number of books. She graduated from Wichita High School in 1904 where she later taught three years. In 1911 she married author Bliss Isely, and during most of their married lived on a farm near El Dorado, Kansas. They had three sons, Malcolm, Kenneth and David, who died in childhood. In 1938 she published the book Blue Star, a book based on the life of Corabelle Fellows Campbell Tillman, and during the 1940s she co-authored a book with D.F. Nichols on Mentor Graham. She wrote a number of articles dealing with the Dust Bowl and Wichita history for local and national newspapers. Her books include a book of poems, The Land of the Little Boys, and Mentor Graham: The Man Who Taught Lincoln (1944).

From the Wichita State University Library

Read an overview of the Cheyenne River Tribe HERE.

UPDATE: Just a quick update due to some questions posed by Claire in the comments. I clipped a few bits of  the intro, plus a picture of Corabelle as a girl, from the preview of Blue Star: The Story of Corabelle Fellows –  By Kunigunde Duncan (Preview link)

This last piece should answer your question about Claude Campbell, the oldest son:

How sad!!!

Claire, you could always check the library for this book if you want to see if Wilbur ever had children, but based on the census records, I kind of doubt he did.

Cowboy “Jim” Dahlman: Perpetual Politician

February 5, 2009
James C. Dahlman

James C. Dahlman

Jim Dahlman went from being a Texas cowboy to Nebraska politician, most notably, the Mayor of Omaha. For many years, was a friend and supporter (and campaigner) of William Jennings Bryan, until they had a falling out. Bryan did not support Dahlman when he ran for Governor of Nebraska. Dahlman was also a friend of the notorious “Doc” Middleton.

See previous posts on Bryan and Doc Middleton and another HERE.

As you will see, some of these newspaper clips are from those opposed to “Dahlmanism.”

First, “Dalhmanism” from Wikipedia:

Called the “perpetual Mayor” in Omaha, Dahlman was seen by many as a cover man for the city’s vice elements. Earning the reputation as the “wettest mayor in America”, Dahlman saw the number of saloons in Omaha double during his first 10 years as mayor. The term “Dahlmanism” was coined to describe his politics.

Click on Dahlman’s name below for a biography.

It is no secret that the prominence of Jim Dahlman, the cowboy mayor of Omaha, at the Denver convention is causing grief among the faithful around Lincoln. Every time the bronco buster appears in print as the “personal mouthpiece of Mr. Bryan,” several ten penny nails are bitten squarely in two in this vicinity.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Jun 30, 1908

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From The History of Nebraska,  some background on the “county option” and how it figured into the elections in 1910:

In the campaign of 1910 all normal calculations were upset by the injection of the prohibition question and the invasion of the democratic ticket by large numbers of republicans, through the opportunity offered by the open primary law which had been passed at the late session of the legislature. While Governor Shallenberger had incurred the bitter hostility of the extreme liquor interests by signing the eight o’clock closing law and, naturally, in the circumstances, had not recouped from the strong partisans of prohibition or county option, yet his administration had been so virile and his personality in general so taking, that his renomination and reëlection were generally conceded by politicians. But the aggressive pro-saloon republicans, to the number of about 15,000, voted for James C. Dahlman, the democratic mayor of Omaha, and he was nominated over Shallenberger by the narrow margin of 27,591 to 27,287. If the governor had stood firmly on his well-known opposition to county option, he would have been renominated. His announcement to the democratic convention that he would sign a county option bill, if one should be passed, was bad politics as well as bad statesmanship.

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Bryan’s second attempt to make the Nebraska Democracy take the water cure has failed. Cowboy Jim Dahlman has defeated Shallenbarger, Bryan’s candidate for Governor, in the primaries, and will head the Bourbon ticket in November.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Aug 27, 1910

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LANCASTER TOWNS HEAR MAYOR “JIM”
Tells People That County Option Means Prohibition and That He is Plain “Feller.”
(Excerpt from article)

Read Out of Party.

The chief point made in his address full of declarations for personal liberty and the right of towns to rule themselves on the liquor business, was to read out of the party all county option democrats. He  declared they were not democrats, not standing for things democratic, no such thing existed as a prohibition democrat, and that they must go to the republican party where they belong. He declared further that they would be put there to stay on November 8.

Here are some of the statements made in his speech:

“The chief issue in this campaign is county option. County option is prohibition eventually and prohibition is a failure.”

“County option is being forced upon you people by a bunch of howling fanatics. Are you going to let them run you and your town?”

“They are telling a lot of nasty things about me in the press  of the state. I am going to plead guilty to about half of what they charge and deny the other half. What do you think of that? That’s fair, isn’t it? You never heard a candidate for governor before who was so frank, did you?”

“I am a plain feller. I am one of the plain fellers, one of you people. Don’t you think it is about time that a plain, ordinary feller like me should hold down that governor job?

“Now, I want to challenge any of you fellers to dispute any statement I shall make here today. I want you to say it to Jimmie Dahlman’s face. Don’t wait until he is gone and then say it on the street corners. I defy you to dispute anything I say. And I want to say that if you try it Jimmie Dahlman is going to come back at you good and strong. You will think you have hit a buzz-saw before he gets through with you. What do you think of that?”

“County option is enlarging the unit of control from the city to the county. Are you people of Hallam going to let Lincoln with perhaps fifty times as many votes as you have tell you how you shall run your city, which you have built up and where you pay your taxes?”

Says Policies Have Failed.

“County option and prohibition are failures. I was never in a dry town in my life where I could not get all I wanted. I only had to look around a bit and it was easy to find. In those places they have blind tigers in the alleys and holes in the wall where you can get all the rot-gut whisky you can drink. And I want to tell you that these so-called prohibition republicans and prohibition democrats are a bunch of hypocrites. They are all right at home for they are afraid to drink. But when they come to Omaha they can kill more whisky in a day than any of you fellers can get rid of in a week. I know ’em for I am mayor of the great metropolitan city of Omaha, and I have to pardon ’em out and send ’em home to their families so there won’t be a family row. I have a chief of police who has been in Omaha for fifteen years and he knows ’em too.”

“I’ll tell you what I stand for. I am for the Slocumb law which has been on the statute books for thirty years without a change. And I want to tell you something else — listen now to what I am saying you prohibition democrats if there are any of you here — I want to say that in all that thirty years not a brewer, not a saloon-keeper, not a saloon man has dared to try to change a single line of that law. Why? Because they knew that this law is what the people of the state want.”

Lincoln Evening News (Lincoln, Nebraska) Oct 15, 1910

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Now this one is pretty funny:

Are you inclined to be quarrelsome when you are drunk? Do you sometimes beat your wife? Are you occasionally picked up as a vagrant? Sorry, but in that case nothing can keep you from voting for “Jim.” Mr. Aldrich will hardly be able to offer inducements to compare with these from “Jim’s” Wilber address:

“How about this pardon business? Ill tell you. We all get over the ropes sometimes. I get over myself, and I know. Well, that’s the kind of cases I pardon. Suppose a man and a woman have a family row and she gets him put in jail. The judge gives him twenty days. Then she grows penitent and wants him. She has to come to little old Jimmie Dahlman to get it. And she comes bawling around, and I pardon him. I hear bawling enough at home, Lord knows. Then there’s another class I pardon. Maybe an old Saline county farmer with a section of land comes to Omaha. He goes down to John Mauer’s restaurant — that’s a swell place — and takes a little too much. He gets into jail and the police judge gives him ten days. Well, Jim Dahlman goes right down and lets him out, you bet.”

The solid jailbird vote goes to “Jim.” That may as well be admitted.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Oct 18, 1910

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When Dahlman Is Inaugurated as Governor These Things Will Take Place
From a “long hand” report of Dahlman’s speech at Lincoln…

“I’m going to invite you people to come to my inauguration and we will have a big barbecue right out on the state house grounds. We will have twenty-five beeves and fifty mutton carcasses a roasting, and we will build a big dance pavilion out there on the grounds. The first dance will be an old fashioned Virginia reel and I will lead it. The second will be an old fashioned quadrille and I am going to call it about like this: Balance all; swing on the corner; allemand left; right hand to your partners and grand right and left; all promenade over to the barbecue. I’m going to invite some of them prohibitionists to come, too. Of course we won’t have anything but coffee and water up there at the capitol but if any of the prohibitionists want anything stronger they can telephone me and I will see that they get plenty of Blue Ribbon and such stuff.”

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Oct 30, 1910

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The song, “We Are Coming, Jimmie Dahlman,” recently printed in these columns, has been recast and sung by E.F. Miller of Nemaha with much good to the cause. As he sings it, the song reads as follows:

We are coming, Jimmie Dahlman,
To the closing of the day,
When votes must all be counted
In the right and honest way.
We men, who heard you telling
Of how you’d run the state,
Will surely vote for Aldrich
At a fast and furious rate.

We are coming, Jimmie Dahlman,
With our ballot in our hand,
To meet your issue squarely
And tell you where we stand;
For we know that in Nebraska
Our rights have been denied,
For which our great forefathers
Have bravely fought and died.

We are coming, Jimmie Dahlman,
For we’ve heard you day by day
Tell all that county option
Takes our liberty away;
Our farms are taxed and burdened,
Rum crime expense to pay,
And then we’re told we cannot vote
This wrong to put away.

We are coming, Jimmie Dahlman,
And our vim will not relax;
For the city gets the license
And the county gets the tax.
If the city gets the money,
And the county holds the sack,
We’d all be fools and goslins
If we don’t give you a whack.

Let me tell you, Jimmie Dahlman —
Let me tell you on the square —
Next Tuesday you’ll be beaten
With ten thousand votes to spare;
For we’re coming, Jimmie Dahlman,
We’re coming on with prayer,
To see that no rum ruler
Shall taint the governor’s chair.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Nov 7, 1910

William J. Bryan and Jim Dahlman

William J. Bryan and Jim Dahlman

William J. Bryan is not the only million dollar beauty in Nebraska. Mayor James C. Dahlman is a close second. Recently citizens of Memphis, Tenn., offered Mr. Bryan $2,000,000 to remove thither and make his home. Mr. Bryan smiled his broadest, which is exceedingly broad, and told the Memphis committee that Lincoln, Neb., being just about the center of the United States, suited him as a place of residence. He said he could get to the remotest part of the nation from Lincoln in about two days and he preferred to live at the center. Now the Omaha Commercial club through its publicity manager, Will A. Campbell, has offered Memphis a substitute in the person of “Cowboy Jim” Dahlman, mayor of Omaha, and defeated candidate for governor. Mr. Campbell assures the Memphis people that if they really want a Nebraska beauty they can get Mr. Dahlman for about $1,500,000, thereby saving half a million on the proposition. Mr. Dahlman and Mr. Bryan used to be close friends, but they had a political split last year, which has estranged them. Omaha, it is said, is likely to adopt the commission form of government soon, and the cowboy mayor will be out of a job and ready to accept any reasonable offer from Memphis.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 17, 1911

From the New Castle PA News, Jan 16, 1930

From the New Castle PA News, Jan 16, 1930

*Click on image for larger version of news clipping.

PIONEER MAYOR OF OMAHA DIES

“JIM” DAHLMAN, WHO QUIT LIFE OF COWBOY TO ENTER POLITICS —  SUCCUMBS ON EVE OF EIGHTH CAMPAIGN.
Excelsior Springs, Mo., Jan. 22 — (AP)–

“Jim” Dahlman, 73, perennial mayor of Omaha who left the life of a cowboy for that of a politician, today was embarked on “the long trail.” The old campaigner died in a stroke of apoplexy Monday.

Was Planning New Campaign

Dahlman, whose name appeared on the ballots as James C. Dahlman, but who was better known as “Jim” in the town whose government he has headed, with but one intermission, since 1906, was here to rest and prepare for a new campaign. He filed January 11 as a candidate for his eighth term. His wife, who accompanied him here from Omaha, Jan. 12, was at his bedside.

Born in Yorktown, Tex., Dec. 15, 1856, young Dahlman was playing about horses of his father’s ranch at an age when dolls would have been a more natural entertainment. Upon reaching manhood he went to western Nebraska as a cowboy, later becoming a ranch bookkeeper.

For 12 years he alternated as mayor of Chadron, Neb., and sheriff of Dawes county, Nebraska, and in 1896 went from Lincoln to Omaha to take a position on the Omaha livestock exchange.

Warm Friend of Bryan

Although a warm friend of William Jennings Bryan and an ardent supporter of the commoner, it was not until 1906 that Dahlman tossed his own hat in the political ring.

Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune (Wisconsin) Jan 22, 1930

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Passing of “Texas Jim” Dahlman

Mayor James C. Dahlman of Omaha, has passed out of the picture. He had been chief executive of the aggressive and progressive Nebraska metropolis for 21 years. He recently had filed for reelection for his eight three-year term.

There was a time when he was “Texas Jim.” He was a cowboy and rough rider of the cattle ranges all the way from the Rio Grande river to the Montana highlands.

He was feared and loved as one of the best shots and hardest riders on the western plains. He was 73 when death called him. He was the political idol of the people of Omaha.

As his body lay in state at Omaha city hall, thousands paid homage to the man whose name was a household word in cow camps and western plains in the long ago.

“Texas Jim” was a democrat. Fifty three years ago, in a town in Lavaca county, “he got his man” and those who knew him best said that he had abundant provocation.

He journeyed from Texas to Arkansas, from Arkansas to Wyoming, from Wyoming to Nebraska, then a wilderness, and he found fortune as well as fame in the wild frontier commonwealth.

In 1906 he invaded the political arena. He was the personal and political friend of William Jennings Bryan. He fought the battles with Bryan with tongue and pen and would have used a gun in self defense if it had been necessary.

Omaha was the city of his adoption. He built an organization. It was an aggressive organization and it had a he-man as its dictator and spokesman. “Texas Jim” was elected mayor. He was re-elected mayor.

He aspired to the governorship in Nebraska. Did William Jennings Bryan lend aid and encouragement or financial assistance or words of eloquence in behalf of the candidacy of his most loyal supporter?

He did not. He ditched “Texas Jim” and “Texas Jim” lost the gubernatorial crown.

Then it was that the prince of peace orators and the daring rider of the western plains parted company.

“Texas Jim” had a flair for politics. He loved Omaha and he loved its people. He fought the battles of the plain people of Nebraska. He held the reins of municipal government 21 years. If he had lived he would have continued to direct the affairs of the upper Missouri river city.

He attended all the national conventions beginning in 1896, he was a democrat of the Jeffersonian type, he was a “regular” and always bowed to the mandate of his party. He was a humanitarian of the 20 karat type, he never kicked the under dog in the teeth, he was the product of a civilization that has passed away, and yet he was as modern in his convictions and his politics as the fastest travelers on the broad highway of this new era of mankind.

Some day the romance of his early life may be hammered into copy and then placed in cold type. He had the material but he buried it. His secrets were his own secrets and he lived his own life. He did not know the meaning of the word fear and he never had a doubt as to the future.

Yes, “Texas Jim” has passed out of the picture — just as the West and his youthful days, wild rides and deeds of daring, passed out of the picture when the Pacific ocean became the frontier line of the American republic.

Brownsville Herald (Brownsville, Texas) Jan 28, 1930

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

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

The Notorious ‘Doc’ Middleton

January 22, 2009
'Doc' Middleton

'Doc' Middleton

From the (WOLA) Western Outlaw Lawmen History Association website, which provides a good amount of information about ‘Doc.’

Doc Middleton** was born James M. Riley in Bastrop County, Texas (his death certificate says he was born in Mississippi). Family members state the middle name was Middleton. Doc’s early years are confusing, but sorted out nicely by Harold Hutton in his book. Suffice to say, Doc got into some trouble in Texas, joined a cattle drive and headed to Nebraska.

The website link** above doesn’t seem to work anymore, so here is a link to the WWHA site, which also has a good article about Doc Middleton.

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NEBRASKA.
Fight with Outlaws.

OMAHA, July 26. Hazen, the detective wounded in a fight with Doc Middleton, has arrived here. Lewellyn, third detective in the fight, arrived at Fort Hartsuff and has left with soldiers from there for the place where Middleton is.

Later report shows the detectives treacherously fired on the outlaws, during negotiations. The outlaws promptly returned the fire. Middleton is severely wounded. Hazen badly and Llewellyn slightly. Black George and another outlaw were killed. The result will be the capture of Middleton and breaking up the gang.

Daily Kennebec Journal (Augusta, Maine) Jul 28,  1879

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A DESPERATE CONFLICT.
Chicago, July 24. — An Omaha special to the News gives meagre details of a desperate fight between a body of detectives and four desperadoes of Doc Middleton’s gang of thieves and murderers infesting the cattle country on the Niobara river which occurred Monday on one of the branches of the creek called Long Pine, 140 miles north of Grand Island. Shots were fired by two of the detectives and returned by the desperadoes, with effect upon each side, although no lives were lost. Hazen, one of the detectives, received three balls — one in the neck, one in the arm, and a third through his body below the ribs, coming out near the backbone.

S. Lewellyan, another of the detectives who was present at the fight, is missing, and the remaining detectives escaped without a scratch, and made their way to Columbus, 150 miles distant. Hagan reached the place safely and his wounds are not serious, though painful. Middleton would have been killed, had not the detective’s revolver missed fire four times. He was badly wounded in the groin, and it is thought he will die. He is being cared for by friends.

Fort Wayne Weekly Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Jul 30,  1879

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NEBRASKA.
Captured.

CHEYENNE, July 31. Doc Middleton, the notorious horse and cattle thief for whose capture large rewards were offered by different counties in Nebraska, was taken last Sunday in his camp on the Nebraska river, about 200 miles northwest of Columbus, Neb., and brought into that town this evening. Sunday morning, detectives and soldiers from Columbus and Grand Island surrounded the house of Richardson, Middleton’s father-in-law, and captured Middleton and five of his gang.

Daily Kennebec Journal (Augusta, Maine) Aug 1,  1879

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“Doc.” Middleton, the notorious horse and cattle thief, has been sentenced to five years in the Nebraska penitentiary for stealing horses from Carey Bros, of that Territory. There are other indictments against him in Nebraska.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Sep 21,  1879

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Killed by Gamblers.
OMAHA, March 26 — A gang of gamblers, supposed to be Doc Middleton’s gang, went to Covington, Neb., Tuesday night and opened up a room. Yesterday morning they killed John Peyton, a gambler, and fled. The sheriff is in pursuit.

Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, New Jersey) Mar 26,  1891

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–Covington, the Nebraska suburb of Sioux City was the scene of another saloon and gambling house murder. James Peyson, ex-mayor of the town, is nearly dead, and Doc Middleton, a young gambler, has a dangerous wound in the abdomen. The trouble grew out of a game of craps in the White House, a notorious place kept by Sioux City saloon men. All were drunk.

The New Era (Humeston, Iowa) Apr 1,  1891

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A DARING DESPERADO
SOME ESCAPADES OF THE NOTORIOUS “DOC” MIDDLETON.

For a While He Ran Things With a High Hand in the Black Hills Country — Defied the Federal Authorities and Made a Judge Quickly Throw up His Hands.

“‘Doc’ Middleton was the most daring desperado that ever terrorized the Elkhorn valley and ruled the Black Hills country with a high hand,” said John C. Barclay, a shoe drummer, at the Lindell, as a party of western traveling men were swapping stories.

“Middleton always bore the soubriquet of ‘Doc,’ but nobody seems to know how he was so dubbed. Before the railroads were built into Deadwood, S.D., I used to make one trip a year by stage to that country, and I saw ‘Doc’ Middleton several times. He was a powerful fellow, with quick, elastic step, and wore a dark sombrero, an overcoat of wildcat skins and a bright handkerchief, and his cowboy make-up gave him the appearance of a typical western frontiersman. Leading a band of rangers, he waged war on the Sioux Indians and protected the settlers of the Elkhorn valley, Neb. Government officials in those days feared him, and for years he was the chief of desperadoes in those parts. But he settled down to a respectable life in Nebraska over 15 years ago and was engaged in the cattle business.

“When I first knew ‘Doc’ he was freighting from Sidney, Neb., to the Black Hills. One night, in a Sidney dance house, a half-dozen soldiers engaged in a quarrel with ‘Doc,’ and there was a shooting scrape. Middleton escaped and his in the hill sands on the Platte river. While living in the hills he picked up a bunch of horses and started out with them. He was captured and thrown into jail in Sidney. The second night there he got the jailor drunk and walked away. He next appeared at a road ranch up the Elkhorn, having been without food for five days. Soon after that he was hurrying down the Elkhorn valley with a bunch of horses that belonged to the Indians. ‘Doc’ and his party were pursued by a company of United States soldiers, about 50 settlers and a band of Indians. The white men gave up the chase in a few days, but the Indians kept on the trail. One night the thieves were overtaken by the Indians. The red men dared not shoot Middleton, so they took the horses and returned home. Middleton’s front teeth were filled with gold, and he was known to all the redskins as the ‘Gold Chief.’ The Indians believed that ‘Doc’ must have been favored by the Great Spirit in oder to have gold teeth, and they would not kill him.

“One of Middleton’s escapades was known all over the country. He was at North Platte, and a deputy sheriff tried to take him. ‘Doc’ mounted his horse, pulled a couple of revolvers and rode over all the town daring any man to shoot at him. The government finally made a determined effort to capture ‘Doc’ and sent out four secret service men. They met ‘Doc’ at a Fourth of July celebration at Atchison, Neb. He took their pistols away and made them run foot races and join in the other festivities of the day. Once Judge Moody of Deadwood demanded Middleton’s surrender. He made the judge throw up his hands and then took all the valuables he had.

“Middleton was finally captured by Deputies Lewellen and Hazen, who were sent out by Governor Thayer of Nebraska. ‘Doc’ was taken to Omaha, where he received a sentence of five years in the penitentiary. He was shown leniency because he always protected the white settlers and only stole the stock belonging to the Indians. At the expiration of his term ‘Doc’ returned to Atchison, Neb., and became a law-abiding citizen.” — St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

New Oxford Item (New Oxford, Pennsylvania) May 6,  1898

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“Doc.” Middleton, well known to pioneer Nebraskans twenty years ago, who served a term in the penitentiary and afterwards engaged in the saloon business at Gordon, is now in the same business at Ardmore, South Dakota. He is also town marshal and so gets pay for “running men in” after he has “filled them up.”

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Dec 21,  1900

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Doc Middleton Had Asked Malone for Job as Detective
“I knew Doc Middleton well,” said Chief Malone, in discussing news of the outlaw’s death. “My relations with him were very friendly. When he was at Whitman I got acquainted with him. Some months ago Doc asked for positions for himself and his son as specials in the railroad secret service. I have his letter of application in my possession now.” The chief said that Middleton wanted a job at Crawford.

A Burlington man tells a good story of the outlaw and gambler and an old time detective of the road. The latter had gone to a western town in the state with the avowed purpose of cleaning out the Middleton gang. He and his assistants were quartered in a freight car when it reached the town. The gang heard of the arrival of the detective and his force of exterminators and when the train pulled in shot after shot was fired into each freight car. Quick orders from the sleuth resulted in the train being pulled outside of the corporate limits of the town. The job of extermination was nipped in the bud.

Lincoln Daily News (Lincoln, Nebraska) Jan 1,  1914

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SIXTY YEARS AGO TODAY.
(From the Journal Files.)
Five of Doc Middleton’s gang, including Middleton, passed thru Sidney, Neb. Local officers were in hot pursuit and shot one of the outlaws within city limits.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Apr 28,  1939

Sixty Years Ago Today.
It was learned that Doc Middleton, the notorious outlaw, had paid a quiet visit to Lincoln during the week.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Sep 13,  1944

Doc Middleton's Gravestone

Doc Middleton's Gravestone

TWENTY YEARS AGO TODAY.
Doc Middleton, Nebraska “bad man” of the seventies, died at Douglas, Wyo. In the early history of the state his gang was the terror of settlers in northwestern Nebraska. He belonged to the “Wild Bill” and “Calamity Jane” period in that section. He had a ranch at Rushville said to be the rendezvous of many noted road agents.

The Lincoln Star (Lincoln, Nebraska) Dec 30,  1933

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Santa Fe Publisher Puts West in Books
By DON TURNER
Of Our Staff
(excerpt from article)
The other two, “Doc Middleton, The Unwickedest Outlaw,” by John Carson, and “The Lynching of Elizabeth Taylor,” by Jean Williams, are based in Nebraska…
The story of Doc Middleton — horse thief, gambler, accused murderer and Texas fugitive — also is interesting reading. A lot happened between the time Middleton came to Nebraska in 1876 at the age of 25 and his death from a group of diseases while in the Converse County jail in 1913 at the age of 62.

Amarillo Globe-Times (Amarillo, Texas) Nov 10,  1966

Golden Empire: A Novel of the Northwest
By Chalmer Orin Richardson
Published by Greenberg, 1938
274 pages

…by Chalmer Richardson now superintendent of schools at Vesta. “Golden Empire,” by Mr. Richardson, is a story of Custer county of the 70’s and 80’s and brings into prominence the Olives, well known Nebraskans because of the Mitchell and Ketchum case long in the courts of the state. Mr. Richardson does not say that none of his characters are drawn from life. He admits that several are fairly close copies of early people of Custer county. Doc Middleton, another well known and lawless early day resident, is easily recognizable. The original title of the book was “Buffalo Grass,” which has sufficient meaning for people brought up in close proximity to this familiar landscape covering, but evidently not enough for Mr. Richardson’s publishers. The book made its appearance as “Golden Empire, a novel of the northwest: blandly ignoring the fact that Custer county is far from being in the northwest of Nebraska, to say nothing of the territory usually known as the northwest.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Oct 9,  1938