|Roy Bean - Wikipedia
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.
|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.
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
Mason County, Kentucky, USA
||March 16, 1903 (aged 77–78)
Langtry, Val Verde County, Texas, USA
||Law West of the Pecos
||Justice of the Peace; Saloonkeeper
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
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.
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 .
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"
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
|| 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.
|| 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."
|| 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."
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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"
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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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