Tag Archives: gunfighters

Mannen Clements Got Away With Murder

Mannen Clements, gunfighter and all-around rough character, killed Petyon “Pate” Patterson on July 25, 1872.

Clements was tried for the murder six years later, but the jury voted to acquit.  The Clements brothers (Mannen, Joe, Jim and Gip) were a force to be reckoned with, especially when joined by cousin John Wesley Hardin.  Mannen was shot to death in the Senate Saloon in Ballinger in March 1887 by city marshall Joseph Townsend, who died in an ambush a short time later.

“Deacon” Jim Miller Dangled at the End of a Rope

Jim Miller, whose regular church attendance gave him his most popular nickname, was lynched in Ada, Oklahoma on April 19, 1909 by townspeople angered by his hired killing of a former federal lawman.

Miller, related to John Wesley Hardin by marriage, is generally considered the Old West’s first professional assassin.  He survived several attempts on own life thanks to an iron breastplate worn under a heavy coat.  Suspected in a slew of unsolved murders, “Deacon Jim” may well have been the unidentified gunman that ambushed Pat Garrett.

Famous Sheriff Stabbed to Death in Palestine

Christopher Columbus Rogers, famed sheriff of Anderson County and reputed killer of 17, was laid to rest in Palestine on June 27,1888.  He was 42 years old.

Rogers had been sitting unarmed in a local saloon, when a former friend stabbed him to death in retaliation for a fatal shooting the previous year.  The once respected lawman, who stood up to the Klan in his heyday, was no longer the hero he once had been.

Outlaw With A Badge Gets What He Deserves

John Larn, recently resigned sheriff of Shackleford County, surrendered to vigilantes who had him dead to rights on charges of rustling cattle.  That night, June 22, 1878, a mob stormed the Albany jail and with a single volley shot Larn to death in his cell.

Lucky for him, John Selman, Larn’s sidekick who also worked both sides of the law, had made himself scarce on that fateful occasion.  He, in fact, lived long enough to murder John Welsey Hardin in an El Paso saloon in 1895.

Ben Thompson Receives Gift From Famous Friend

Austin marshal Ben Thompson opened a parcel on June 14, 1881 to find a gold-plated target pistol with a pearl handle inscribed “Buffalo Bill to Ben Thompson.”  The temporarily reformed gunfighter had rolled out the welcome mat for the Wild West showman on his recent visit to the Texas capital, and Cody wanted to express his appreciation.

The murder the next June of a San Antonio theater owner cost Thompson his badge and a drunken mistake in March 1884 cost him his life.  He talked fellow gunman King Fisher into paying a visit to the same Alamo City theater, where three armed assassins shot them down when they walked in the door.