Did Jesse Evans and Billy ever have it out ? I've read that Billy was a bit
afraid of Jesse...actually backed down a couple of times. What say ye ?
The Kid never got into a one-on-one gunfight but once, & he'd tampered with the guy's pistol so that when he drew to fire, the hammer fell on the empty chamber all prudent men rested the hammer of a Colt on.
Jesse Evans may have been killed in a shootout with Texas Rangers in the mid-1870s in the Chinati Mountains in Texas' Big Bend country. 5 Rangers were sent to Fort Davis---the town--because Evans, among others, was terrorizing the place. They knew he had 3 men with him. They got a tip he was holed up in the Chinatis, so they went down there to look around. They spotted 4 men above them in the mountains, so they started toward them. The men turned tail and began to shoot at the Rangers. This kinda removed any doubt about them possibly being law-abiding citizens. In the subsequent shootout atop a flat-topped mountain 1 Ranger & 'the leader' of the gang were killed. The Rangers buried the dead Ranger, but left 'the leader' of the outlaw gang for the buzzards. Was it Jesse Evans? I can't say for sure, but they had a good tip Evans was holed up in the Chinatis, they knew he had 3 others with him, & 4 outlaws opened fire on the Rangers as soon as they knew they were law. I know it's awful hard to find anything positive about Evans' whereabouts after abt 1876.
Thank You for your very informative response. I never knew what happened to Jesse but I do think he was a 'bad' Dude who would kill / fight at the drop of a hat. I also think he backed Billy down, at least once. I think the trails from Texas to Arizona were overrun with 'cowboys'...some moving cattle that had been found on the range or 'traded'.....and that Henry Hooker, John Chisum and John Slaughter all were into it up to their eye balls. After they made their money, they became 'civilized' and worked for some Law and Order. Now, we have to wonder if the coyotes got all of Jesse or is there something left out there in Big Bend country ? Best to ya...........> Chuck
That story came from one of the Rangers who was in the fight. For some reason he never flatly stated the guy they killed--Ed Seiker shot him between the eyes with a Winchester--was Jesse Evans, he just said he was 'the leader of the gang.' He was interviewed by a reporter from the San Antonio Light abt 1914 & J. Marvin Hunter picked it up & reprinted it in the original Frontier Times in the '20s. I have the full run of Hosstail Small's facsimile reprints of that mag, from the '60s. They're a treasure-trove.
Since it's been about 140 years since that shootout took place, I'd kinda tend to doubt there'd even be any teeth left.
Again, Thank You for the information. Must add...a good shot, between the eyes
and Jesse probably deserved it. Teeth seem to last a long time but I doubt if one could locate
anything at this time but then as a kid, I walked the desert with that very hope within me.
Best to Ya.............> Chuck
Again, I can't say for certain it was Jesse Evans. All the article said was 'the leader of the gang.' There is evidence that Jesse Evans--or at least somebody using the name Jesse Evans, which wouldn't have been an uncommon name at the time--was sentenced to 50 yrs at Huntsville abt 1880 but escaped abt '82 & vanished. Since fingerprinting & DNA ID weren't around then, positive ID was sorta difficult to establish. They had to rely on physical description & Bertillion measurements, which caused a lot of mistaken identity.
Sorry to disagree, but I have probably read as much as anyone on the subject and have never heard of any allegations that Hooker was stealing cattle, or was anything but honest. And, I believe Chisum was a pretty straight shooter also.
Slaughter, once he became an Arizona sheriff, was mean as Hell. When he told you 'Don't let the sun set on your back in my county,' you better not let it. Otherwise finding your carcass was likely to be difficult. I don't know how many 'disappearances' he was responsible for, but it had to be a bunch. Likely Hooker, Chisum, & Slaughter bought cattle from questionable sources--nearly everybody did--but as far as them being actively involved in rustling, that's very unlikely.
So they just purchased stolen goods, they didn't steal them, themselves?
Isn't that a little like saying they didn't actually rob the bank, they just drove the get-away car??
"Purchasing goods" from anyone was ok if you acted like you knew nothing of their origin; this was a common practice. 'They' called it business in those days. Chisum, Slaughter and Hooker all did it, I believe, and I'm not saying it was bad or good...just making a statement. These were tough times, tough men and even tougher situations to survive. Texas John was mean as hell...especially after he 'went' legal..never someone to fool around with...short but had a bad temper and a quick and deadly draw. I often wonder if Texas John had been at / near the OK Corral in 1881 what would have happened ? Mostly likely, more Clantons and others would have died that day in October ! Oh, yea, 'The Cowboys' were all over New Mexico, Arizona and Texas and guess what they were doing........right. Moving cattle !
I hear ya Chuck. Different times, different attitudes.
In those days outside the confines of most towns you were basically on your own. If you couldn't hold or maintain your property, it wasn't considered yours by most accounts. Slaughter only got the job of sheriff because he was known for being able to hold on to what was his from what I have read. And yes it was said that if he hollered duck, you best be getting on the ground. That shotgun of his did most of his talking for him.
Very interesting character, don't know why more hasn't been done about him.
Texas John was indeed a very intersting character. He hauled freight for a short period out of Messilla, NM ( the old Capitol of the Gasden Purchase land and a major city in NM in those days ) ......where Billy and Judge Roy Bean also hung out. Beano also hauled freight with his brother from there for while. Realizing the age disparatity, I still wonder if these guys crossed paths, ever ? Ah, the old WEST....how I long for it !
If you buy something from an individual or in a flea market, you don't know the origin of what you bought. It may have been, as the guy said, in his family for 40 years--or it may have been stolen in another city or state 2 weeks ago.
I once bought a tape-deck off a table at a flea market. Looking it over, I found a # put on it with a vibrating tool. I figured it might be a DL #, so I ran it down. Turned out the thing had been taken in a burglary abt a month before, but the guy said insurance covered it so he wasn't worried. He lived abt 80 miles from me. I wasn't gonna make a 160 mi round trip to hand off something I paid $25 for, so I told him to tell his local law I had it & how I got it. If they needed it as evidence they could come get it. I never heard from his local law.
During the really bad winters in the 1880s there were cattle w/Kansas & Nebraska brands found as far south as San Angelo, Texas. The ranchers on whose land they ended up struck the brands w/a running iron & slapped their own brands on 'em. They didn't steal the cattle but they sure weren't gonna try to drive 'em all the way back to Kansas & Nebraska.
Same way w/Slaughter, Hooker, & Chisum. They bought branded cattle from somebody who put up a respectable front but was in fact fencing for the Clantons, the Kid, or some other rustler. What were they supposed to do--write to the county sheriffs of every county in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, & Utah to find out if cattle wearing those brands were stolen? Texas alone, in the 1880s, had over 200 counties--& no state-wide brand registry.
We still don't have a state-wide brand registry. Brands are registered county by county. Unless the brand is copyrighed--like the King Ranch's 'running W' or the Waggoner-owned Sacahuista's triple crazy D stacked--there's nothing to keep somebody in a different county from registering the same brand you use. We might have a feller whose initials are J. D. running a JD connected brand in Potter County while a guy in Concho County whose initials are also J. D. has registered JD connected there. Those counties are well over 100 mi apart. They likely don't know each other and would have no way of knowing they registered the same brand unless the Potter County JD cattle wound up in the same sales barn as the Concho County JD cattle.
Incidentally, there was a bio of Slaughter called, I believe, THAT WICKED LITTLE GRINGO. It was written years ago & there was, at one time, a plan to re-issue it. I was sent a MS copy of it to review when I was book-bag editor of The National Tombstone Epitaph, but I never heard whether or not it was re-issued.