September 2014 ~~~~ Editor:  Cliff Hanger ~~~~
Roy Bean - Wikipedia
Phantly Roy Bean, Jr. (c. 1825 – March 16, 1903) was an eccentric U.S. saloon-keeper and Justice of the Peace in Val Verde County, Texas, who called himself "The Law West of the Pecos". According to legend, Judge Roy Bean held court in his saloon along the Rio Grande in a desolate stretch of the Chihuahuan Desert of southwest Texas. After his death, Western films and books cast him as a hanging judge, though he is known to have sentenced only two men to hang, one of whom escaped.

Early life

Roy Bean was born in 1825 in Mason County, Kentucky, the youngest of five (four sons and a daughter) of Phantly Roy Bean, Sr., and the former Anna Henderson Gore. The family was extremely poor, and at age sixteen Bean left home to ride a flatboat to New Orleans and possible work. After getting into trouble there, Bean fled to San Antonio, Texas to join his older brother Sam.

Samuel Gore "Sam" Bean (1819–1903), who had earlier migrated to Independence, Missouri, was a teamster and bullwhacker. He hauled freight to Santa Fe and then on to Chihuahua, Mexico. After Sam fought in the Mexican–American War, he freighted out of San Antonio, where Roy joined him.

In 1848, the two brothers opened a trading post in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Soon after, Roy Bean shot and killed a Mexican desperado who had threatened "to kill a gringo." To escape being charged with murder by Mexican authorities, Roy and Sam Bean fled west to Sonora. By the spring of 1849, Bean had moved to San Diego, California, to live with his older brother Joshua. The older Bean was elected the first mayor of the city the following year.

Considered handsome, Roy Bean competed for the attentions of various local girls. A Scotsman named Collins challenged Bean to a pistol-shooting match on horseback. Bean was left to choose the targets, and decided that they would shoot at each other. The duel was fought on February 24, 1852, ending with Collins' receiving a wound to his right arm. Both men were arrested and charged with assault with intent to murder. In the two months that he was in jail, Bean received many gifts of flowers, food, wine, and cigars from ladies in San Diego. His final gift included knives encased in tamales. Bean used the knives to dig through the cell wall. After escaping on April 17, Bean moved to San Gabriel, California, where he became a bartender for his brother's saloon, known as the Headquarters Saloon. After Joshua was murdered in November, Bean inherited the saloon.

In 1854, Bean courted a young lady, who was subsequently kidnapped and forced to marry a Mexican officer. Bean challenged the groom to a duel and killed him. Six of the dead man's friends put Bean 

Born  1825
Mason County, Kentucky, USA
Died March 16, 1903 (aged 77–78)
Langtry, Val Verde County, Texas, USA
Other names... Law West of the Pecos
Occupation Justice of the Peace; Saloonkeeper
on a horse and tied a noose around his head, then left him to hang. The horse did not bolt, and after the men left, the bride, who had been hiding behind a tree, cut the rope. Bean was left with a permanent rope burn on his neck and a permanent stiff neck. Shortly after that, Bean chose to leave California and migrated to New Mexico to live with Sam. The latter had been elected the first sheriff of Doña Ana County. In 1861 Samuel G. and Roy Bean operated a merchandise store and saloon on Main Street in Pinos Altos (just north of Silver City) in present-day Grant County, New Mexico. It advertised liquor and "a fine billiard table." A cannon belonging to Roy Bean sat in front of the store for show. It was used to repel an Apache assault on the town.

Move to Texas

During the Civil War, the Confederate Army successfully invaded New Mexico. During the Battle of Glorieta Pass in March 1862, however, the Confederates lost their supply wagons and were forced to retreat to San Antonio. After taking money from his brother's safe, Bean joined the retreating army. For the remainder of the war, he ran the blockade by hauling cotton from San Antonio to British ships off the coast at Matamoros, then returning with supplies. For the next twenty years, Bean lived in San Antonio, working nominally as a teamster. He attempted to run a firewood business, cutting down a neighbor's timber. He then tried to run a dairy business, but was soon caught watering down the milk, and later worked as a butcher, rustling unbranded cattle from other area ranchers.

On October 28, 1866, he married eighteen-year-old Virginia Chavez. Within a year after they were married, he was arrested for aggravated assault and threatening his wife's life. Despite the tumultuous marriage, they had four children together - Roy Jr., Laura, Zulema, and Sam. The family lived in "a poverty-stricken Mexican slum area called Beanville" (centered near the corner of South Flores Street and Glenn Avenue, not far from Burbank High School).

By the late 1870s, Bean was operating a saloon in Beanville. Several railroad companies were working to extend the railroads west, and Bean heard that many construction camps were opening. A store owner in Beanville "was so anxious to have this unscrupulous character out of the neighborhood" that she bought all of Bean's possessions for $900 so that he could leave San Antonio. At the time, Bean and his wife were separated. Bean left his children with friends as he prepared to go west.

Justice of the peace

Roy Bean holding court in 1900, trying a horse thief.
Bean is in the center of the photograph, sitting on a
barrel and holding open his law book. The thief is
sitting on a horse underneath the "Ice Beer"
sign, with his hands behind his back.

The Jersey Lilly saloon in September 2005

With his earnings, Bean purchased a tent, some supplies to sell, and ten 55-gallon barrels of whiskey. By the spring of 1882, he had established a small saloon near the Pecos River in a tent city he named Vinegaroon. Within 20 miles (32 km) of the tent city were 8,000 railroad workers. The nearest court was 200 miles (320 km) away at Fort Stockton, and there was little means to stop illegal activity. A Texas Ranger requested that a local law jurisdiction be set up in Vinegaroon, and on August 2, 1882, Bean was appointed Justice of the Peace for the new Precinct 6 in Pecos County. His first case had, however, been heard on 25 July 1882, when Texas Rangers brought him Joe Bell to be tried.

One of his first acts as a justice of the peace was to "shoot[...] up the saloon shack of a Jewish competitor". Bean then turned his tent saloon into a part-time courtroom and began calling himself the "Law West of the Pecos." As judge, Bean relied on a single lawbook, the 1879 edition of the Revised Statutes of Texas. If newer lawbooks appeared, Bean used them as kindling.

Bean did not allow hung juries or appeals, and jurors, who were chosen from his best bar customers, were expected to buy a drink during every court recess. Bean was known for his unusual rulings. In one case, an Irishman named Paddy O'Rourke shot a Chinese laborer. A mob of 200 angry Irishmen surrounded the courtroom and threatened to lynch Bean if O'Rourke was not freed. After looking through his law book, Bean ruled that "homicide was the killing of a human being; however, he could find no law against killing a Chinaman". Bean dismissed the case.

By December 1882, railroad construction had moved further westward, so Bean moved his courtroom and saloon 70 miles (110 km) to Strawbridge. A competitor who was already established in the area laced Bean's whiskey stores with kerosene. Unable to attract customers, Bean left the area and went to Eagle's Nest, 20 miles (32 km) west of the Pecos River. The site was soon renamed Langtry. The original owner of the land, who ran a saloon, had sold 640 acres (2.59 km2) to the railroad on the condition that no part of the land could be sold or leased to Bean. O'Rourke, the Irishman Bean had previously acquitted, told Bean .

to use the railroad right-of-way, which was not covered by the contract. For the next 20 years, Bean squatted on land he had no legal right to claim. Bean named his new saloon The Jersey Lilly in honor of Lillie Langtry, who recounted how she visited the area following the death of Roy Bean in her autobiography. He sent for his children to live with him at the saloon, with youngest son Sam forced to sleep on a pool table.

Langtry did not have a jail, so all cases were settled by fines. Bean refused to send the state any part of the fines, but instead kept all of the money. In most cases, the fines were made for the exact amount in the accused's pockets. Bean is known to have sentenced only two men to hang, one of whom escaped. Horse thieves, who were often sentenced to death in other jurisdictions, were always let go if the horses were returned. Although only district courts were legally allowed to grant divorces, Bean did so anyway, pocketing $10 per divorce. He charged only $5 for a wedding, and ended all wedding ceremonies with "and may God have mercy on your souls" (traditionally the end of a death sentence).

Bean won re-election to his post in 1884, but was defeated in 1886. The following year, the commissioner's court created a new precinct in the county and appointed Bean the new justice of the peace. He continued to be elected until 1896. Even after that defeat, he "refused to surrender his seal and law book and continued to try all cases north of the tracks"

Later Years

In 1890, Bean received word that Jay Gould was planning to pass through Langtry on a special train. Bean flagged down the train with the danger signal; thinking the bridge was out, the train engineer stopped. Bean invited Gould and his daughter to visit the saloon as his guests. The Goulds visited for two hours, causing a brief panic on the New York Stock Exchange when it was reported that Gould had been killed in a train crash.

In the last part of his life, Bean met the legendary land surveyor W. D. Twichell, who plotted the majority of Texas counties and was based in Amarillo in 1890.

In 1896, Bean organized a world championship boxing title bout between Bob Fitzsimmons and Peter Maher on an island in the Rio Grande because boxing matches were illegal in both Texas and Mexico. The fight, won by Fitzsimmons, lasted only 1 minute and 35 seconds, but the resulting sport reports spread his fame throughout the United States.

As he aged, Bean spent much of his profits to help the poor of the area, and always made sure that the schoolhouse had free firewood in winter.[ He died March 16, 1903, peacefully in his bed, after a bout of heavy drinking in San Antonio. He and a son, Sam Bean (1874–1907), are interred at the Whitehead Memorial Museum in Del Rio.

Ten things you should know about Judge Roy Bean

 1.  Roy Bean married 15 year-old Virginia Chavez in San Antonio on 10-28-1866. Their union brought forth four Beanitos: Roy Jr., Sam, Laura and Zulema. They also adopted a son named John. It was Roy's first and last marriage. They divorced around 1880 and Roy left her in San Antonio while he went South.
 2.  In the pre-Langtry days in San Antonio, Roy Bean used to haul and sell milk. In order to increase profits, he added creek water to the milk. When the buyers started noticing minnows in the milk, Roy seemed as surprised as the buyers. "By Gobs," he said, "I'll have to stop them cows from drinking out of the creek." 
 3.  In 1882 Roy Bean was appointed Justice of the Peace for Precinct 6, (then Pecos - now Val Verde County). Roy Bean may have been a heavy drinker and a shady character, but he came highly recommended by Texas Rangers, who felt he "had what it would take" to bring the law "West of the Pecos."
 4. Bean enjoyed his tough reputation and he kept his kindness hidden. Throughout the years, he took some of the fines and much of the collected goods and gave them to the poor and destitute of the area, doing so without it being known. He even took monies collected in the Jersey Lilly, - his own trackside saloon and used them to buy medicine for the sick and poor in and around Langtry.
 5. Explaining why he had helped so many people, Roy Bean explained it this way to his friend: "Well Dodd, I haven't been any gol-dang angel myself and there might be a lot charged up to me on Judgment Day; and I figure what good I can do-the Lord will give me credit when the time comes." He was very sincere in this belief and it was the sum and total of any religious statement from Roy Bean.
 6. An owner of a Langtry restaurant owed Bean money and when he didn't pay, Bean waited until the restaurant was full, then he then took his place by the door and had each customer pay him for their meal. The last few customers paid the interest.
 7.  Bean has often been confused with "hanging judge" Parker of Ft. Smith - (perhaps because their slightly unorthodox or creative sentencing). Bean never actually hanged anyone, although he occasionally "staged" hangings to scare criminals. Bean would prepare a script with his "staff" - if they were sober enough - which allowed for the prisoner to escape. Given this "second-chance" - the culprits never appeared before the court again.
 8. Bean never sentenced anyone to the penitentiary. If ANYTHING needing doing in Langtry - the prisoner would do it. If there was nothing to be done, the prisoner could take it easy by simply being staked out in the sun.
 9. Nearly everyone has heard the story of Bean fining a dead man $40 - the exact amount that in the corpse's pocket. Less known is the fact that the $40 bought a casket, headstone and paid the gravedigger's labor. He did, however, keep the man's gun for use as a gavel.
10.  Roy Bean died at 10:03pm March 19, 1903 after a heavy drinking spree in Del Rio. He returned home at 10 a.m. and died that night at 10 p.m. The real reason he died, was he simply lost the will to live. Bean could not adjust to modern times. The thing that sent him on his binge was the start of construction on a power plant on the Pecos River. He used to say that times were changing and he was being left behind.
Paden Tolbert - Wikipedia

Paden Tolbert (c. 1863 or 1870 – April 24, 1904) was a 19th-century American law enforcement officer and railroad agent. He was one of the leading deputy U.S. Marshals in the Indian Territory during the 1880s and 90s and often worked with other well-known lawmen of his time including Bud Ledbetter, Heck Thomas and Bill Tilghman. He and his brother John Tolbert were both deputy marshals under "The Hanging Judge" Isaac Parker.

One of many young deputies first used by Judge Parker in the U.S. District Courts in Fort Smith and Muskogee, Tolbert was part of a legendary generation of U.S. Marshals that also included J.H. Mershon, A.J. Trail, Heck Bruner, Sam Sixkiller, Wes Bowman and Bass Reeves. A reputation for courage and devotion to service, Marshal Leo E. Bennett stated that he considered Tolbert to be "one of the bravest men that he ever had on the force".

Tolbert and G.S. "Cap" White led the posse that was sent from Fort Smith to apprehend Ned Christie in the third and final attempt to force him from his mountain fortress. The siege lasted two days and involved dynamite and a cannon to destroy the hideout; this was the only time a cannon was used on civilians by U.S. law enforcement officers. Tolbert and Ledbetter are also credited with foiling the infamous 1894 train robbery at Blackstone Switch which led to the capture of Nathaniel "Texas Jack" Reed and his gang as well as the capture of the Jennings Gang in 1897.

As well as having the town of Paden, Oklahoma named in his honor, his family were the first to introduce Elberta peaches to Clarksville, Arkansas and for which the city remains famous.

Early life

The eldest of eight children born to James Russell Tolbert and Elizabeth Miller, Paden Tolbert grew up in Griffin, Georgia during Reconstruction. The Tolbert family had been well off prior to the American Civil War, his father James had graduated from the University of Georgia and studied law in Tennessee before becoming a journalist. His family lived in Macon and Atlanta during the war while his father reported for the Atlanta Constitution and afterwards tried his hand at farming in Pike County but was unsuccessful at it. In 1880, his father sold the family estate in Griffin and traveled by train to Clarksville, Arkansas where he became successful in growing peach trees and introducing the Elberta peach.

Tolbert became a schoolmaster in Johnson County for a time before pursuing a career as a law enforcement officer. He traveled to Fort Smith and, at age 22, became a deputy U.S. Marshal under "The Hanging Judge" Isaac Parker. Prior to this, he had married his childhood sweetheart Lucy Rose Turner and moved their family to the Indian Territory shortly after becoming a deputy marshal. His brother John would also become a deputy marshal at Fort Smith and the two would briefly work together. Another deputy he was partnered with was Bud Ledbetter who together hunted down many notorious outlaws in the Indian Territory.

Siege of Ned's Fort Mountain

Tolbert and deputy marshal G.S. "Cap" White led the 16-man posse who rode after Ned Christie, amongst whom were Heck Thomas, Bud Ledbetter and his brother John Tolbert, after Christie was charged with the murder of deputy marshal Daniel Maples. While the rest of the posse stocked up on extra weapons including rifles, revolvers and small-arms ammunition, Tolbert traveled over 250 miles to Coffeyville, Kansas and brought back a cannon that fired three-pound shells.

On the morning of November 2, 1894, Tolbert and the rest of the posse surrounded the near impregnable wooden fortress known as the "Rabbit Trap" in the Going Snake District, a mountainous region of the Cherokee nation (near present-day Talequah, Oklahoma). Christie had successfully fought off previous attempts to apprehend him for well over a year before their arrival. After cannon fire and over 2,000 bullets fired at the double-tiered log fortification proved ineffective, it seemed that this would again be the case.

As night fell, Tolbert and the others set to work on building a portable barricade. Using the charred rear axle and wheels from the burned out lumber wagon used to assault the fort the previous month, they built and mounted a thick wall from scrap-oak timbers and loaded with rails. Finally, six sticks of dynamite was brought out and used to breach the fort's walls. Sometime near midnight, Tolbert helped push the wagon towards the cabin along with White, Charley Copeland, Bill Ellis and Bill Smith. While Christie and his partner attempted to fight off Paden's group from the second story gunports, the rest of the posse provided covering fire until the men were close enough to dynamite the south wall of the house. Although surviving the explosion, Christie made a run for the surrounding woods but was gunned down by Tolbert and others.

Shootout with Texas Jack Reed

Two years later, Tolbert and several other U.S. Marshals were contacted by the American Express Company to request protection because they had received information of a suspected holdup from one of their agents in Dallas. On November 13, 1894, Tolbert and Ledbetter were aboard the express car along with Sid Johnson, Frank Jones and as many as three Pinkerton detectives. The train was moving at top speed when it was stopped by Nathaniel "Texas Jack" Reed and his gang. Although calling on the lawmen to get out of the express car, Tolbert and the others refused to surrender and instead began firing at them. The gunfight continued for over an hour and a half until one of Reed's men, Charley Belstead, was killed. Reed then ran towards the passenger car, carrying dynamite with him, and tried to blow the express car. Failing this, he instead held up the passenger car. Erroneously reported killed as he and his men made their getaway, Reed was nevertheless wounded by Ledbetter. The failure of this attack resulted in a manhunt for the fugitives and the eventual capture of Reed.

Capture of the Jenning Gang and later life

In mid-July 1897, Tolbert and Ledbetter again rode together to bring in members of the Jennings Gang, brothers Alan and Frank Jennings. During their search, they learned that "Al Jennings and other parties ... who were going about in the Northern District of the Indian Territory under assumed names". Tolbert and Ledbetter were sent after them with a warrant for their robbery of a post office at Foyll in Cherokee territory. They stayed on their trail for some time before tracking them to the Spike S ranch and, along with several others, surrounded the hideout. After a brief gunfight, they chased them a distance of 60 miles before apprehending them together with Pat and Morris O'Malley.

After a successful 12 year career, Tolbert retired and became a special officer for Fort Smith and Western Railroad. After only a few months, he became ill from congestion of the lungs and sent to Hot Springs, Arkansas to recover. However, his condition did not improve and he died in Weleetka, Oklahoma on April 24, 1904 and was buried in Oakland Cemetery near Clarksville, Arkansas four days later. Following his death, his widow was appointed honorary postmistress of Paden, a town in the Indian Territory named after her husband.

Fred White (marshal) - from Wikipedia

 Frederick G. "Fred" White (c. 1849 – October 30, 1880) was a young lawman, the first "town marshal" (equivalent to chief of police) of the new mining boomtown of Tombstone, Arizona Territory. White was elected to the town police position on January 6, 1880. At the time, Tombstone was officially still a town, defined as having fewer than 1,000 residents, and did not become an official city, with over 1,000 residents, until a year later. Before that time, White died in office in a notorious accidental shooting, and was succeeded in office by Virgil Earp.

Although White is usually portrayed, as in the film Tombstone, as an elderly or older man, he was actually only 31 or 32 years of age at the time of his death. He was born in New York according to the 1880 Census. Some claim that the Ghost of Fred White still haunts the street where he was shot.

Policing Tombstone

In the months before his killing, Fred White formed an alliance and friendship with Wyatt Earp (then deputy undersheriff for the Southern portion of Pima County, which included Tombstone). White had established himself as a likable and professional lawman, and contrary to later depictions in film, was well respected by the Cowboys. He often arrested individual Cowboys, but rarely had any problems in doing so. On the rare occasion that one resisted arrest, he used force as needed, and seemingly had the support of other Cowboys in doing so. He got along particularly well with "Curly" Bill Brocius, and Brocius often joked with him.

White was regarded as removed from the complex business, personal, and political rivalries involving many of Tombstones residents. Unlike other city employees (including Earp and his siblings), who owned or at least partly owned many of the towns businesses and tried to steer its populace and visitors towards those under their ownership, White had no personal stake in any such enterprises, settling instead for his regular salary as town marshal. He was well respected by the town in general and by all accounts treated everyone fairly.

Accidental shooting

On the night of October 28, 1880, several Cowboys entered town and began drinking, with several of them firing their pistols in the air at different locations. Marshal White proceeded to confront each of them, disarming them. All of those confronted by him gave up their weapons voluntarily, without incident. Late that night, White encountered "Curly Bill" Brocius at the East end of town, on a dark street in a vacant lot where the Birdcage Theater now stands. Brocius was intoxicated and he (or his companions) were firing pistols into the air. White instructed Brocius to surrender his pistol. Brocius did this by pulling the weapon out of his pocket, handing it barrel first to White. Wyatt thought later that the pistol's hammer was "half-cocked" over a live round (it was later found to have contained six live rounds), and when White grabbed the barrel and pulled, the weapon discharged, shooting White in the groin area.

Wyatt Earp, who saw the shooting and flash but could not clearly see the action in the dark pistol-whipped Brocius, knocking him unconscious, and arrested him. Wyatt told his biographer many years later that he thought Brocius still armed at the time and didn't notice that Brocius' pistol lay on the ground in the dark, until Brocius was already down. Brocius was arrested by Wyatt Earp and his brother Morgan, both of whom were working as Pima County sheriff's deputies at the time.

Brocius was said to have terribly regretted the shooting of White, whom Brocius apparently liked, and maintained that it was an accident. The next day, Wyatt Earp and another deputy took Brocius to the county jail in the county seat Tucson, possibly saving him from being lynched when White died (at the time, Tombstone had a one room wooden jail very near the scene of the shooting, which was famous for its flimsiness).

White lingered for two days, dying on October 30, 1880. However, prior to his death, he gave testimony that ultimately led to Brocius being cleared of any wrongdoing. White stated that the pistol fired accidentally, and that Brocius, intoxicated, evidently did not realize the pistol was cocked. It was due to White's testimony, as well as a demonstration for the court that Brocius' pistol could be fired from the half-cock position, that Judge Neugass in Tucson dismissed the charge against Brocius.

Despite his regret over the shooting death of White and his assistance from Earp in being taken out of town (Earp also ended up testifying on his behalf), Brocius did not accept being pistol-whipped by Wyatt Earp during his arrest. This was one factor that led to increasing tensions between the Earps and the Cowboys. After the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and the murder of Morgan Earp, Wyatt Earp pursued and killed Brocius in a gunfight in the countryside outside Tombstone.

White was buried in what is now known as Boot Hill cemetery (i.e., the old city cemetery), in Tombstone. 

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