photo above from East Alabama Pottery, Cleburne City, Ala., Mike Williamson
Perfect! At least now we can say that the kid was pretty well off. At least he had a pot to P in.
Murray, interesting research....:)
Reminded me of the segment "History Detectives" did about a face jug..
Dave is one of a small group of history buffs who have been researching and debating alleged photos of Billy the Kid for some years now. He started a thread specifically for that purpose here at True West (an appropriate place for such a discussion, I would say). I know some of the claims can seem pretty far out there but if you have nothing constructive to add, why come in and shit in his thread?
Lighten up, Lampe!
Aw; give Chris break, Murry! I've known him and his dedication to the study of BTK and related pics for about five years now. They guy is dedicated and he is a true researcher. We don't have too many of guys who take the issue so much to heart.
As for me, I love that pot. I might P into it too! LOL. If it was mine I'd name it BTK too.
Steve, I think you have some pretty fantastic photos. Thanks for sharing them. Old photos are priceless and these are absolutely priceless.
I try not to think about the potential value of the photos. I'm "into" them for the story they tell. It is exciting owning them. When I hold one I know that the person depicted, did too. "Which one do you like best?" So it's like shaking hands with history. Fun. Exciting.
Through my research I've been able to meet and talk to many folks who are related to the people who the kid knew. I've met Lily's grandson, who was also the person who found the trunk with Sallie's "papers" in it that eventually became My Girlhood Among the Outlaws.
I've met folks related to Frank Coe and of course the Chisum family. Talk about bringing history to life! When I walk down the street in Lincoln today, I feel as if I need to take cover!
I guess the important thing is that we can now see clear images of so many of the folks who Billy knew. He wasn't really a major player in the LCW but he is the celebrity. The clear image of McSween is great. The new pic of Tunstall. We see his youth and vitality. That picture speaks volumns! Rudabaugh, Wilson, Middleton, McNab, Salazar, French now come to life. Before they were just names.
I am beholding to Sallie Chisum and her great granddaughter, who I knew so many decades ago. I learned about the Chisum family from her. The fact that I stumbled across Sallie's collection in a little antique store just blows me away! It is too astounding to be true, and yet it is.
Steve, Sure Sallie knew her family and she also had a lot of friends and admirers around and she certainly would have had photos of many of them. Photography was a big deal back then and I'll bet they had pictures made every chance they had. Why would anybody expect Sallie to be different than any of us today. I have photos of many of my friends and I bet most of the people posting on this site do too.
Sallie was young and energetic. I knew her great granddaugher when she was 20 and she was a pistol! She looked just like Sallie. Her grandfather was Fred Robert. Her dad his only son.
Sallie was artistic and extroverted. She loved living the life of a princes in her uncle's mansion. She was the apple of every cowpokes eye from east Texas to central New Mexico Territory. Movies have depicted she and the kid as lovers, but I doubt it. Sallie was a pretty serious person too, and she knew that the kid was not father material, but he was just so much fun!
Well before the kid was killed Sallie married a banker's son. He was a clerk in a store in Anton Chico. He was college educated, handsome and spoke with a cool accent. Sallie was charmed. They married (I see two dates one in Dec '79 and the other in the spring of '80.) She wrote glowingly of "Mr. R" in her diary....Mr. Robert of course!
It was not a happy marriage. Robert was not the romantic that Sallie was. He was a businessman, nor did he love the South Spring Ranch as much as Sallie did. Neither, I think did her brothers and even.....I think, her famous Uncle John. He chose to be buried in Paris, TX where he had lived prior to moving to New Mexico and the LCW.
Sallie and Wm. Robert seperated in 1890. They lost the ranch. Sallie moved about a bit, spent some time in Santa Ana, CA but eventually, and not long after, moved back to Roswell. She moved between there and Artesia until she died in Roswell in 1934. Upon the separation Wm. took their two boys, John and Fred. John was 9 and Fred 6; heart breaking for Sallie. She did not see them until they graduated from high school, which they attended in Hutchinson, KS. I have pictures of the boys as toddlers and teenagers.
Sallie remarried for a while, but it didn't take. No children. She became a teacher and post mistress in Artesia. She owned a ranch as did her brother Walter Pitzer. He was famous for raising goats. He was an active Democrat and a 32 degree Mason. All of the Chisum men were Masons. Willi, the younger of the two brothers married Lena Tucker (I have their honeymoon pic.) in Dodge City in 1887. He went into real estate, first in Roswell and then in L.A...
Walter married Inez Simpson in 1887, also in Dodge. They had three children, James, Oscar and Ara (twins), b. 9 June 1892. When Walter died in 1919, Inez and her children moved to Troutdale, Oregon. Ara had the pictures. She was close to Sallie. Sallie, I believe, gave the collection to Ara to keep them in the family. Ara stored them in her attic. She showed some of them to her kids, Wayne E. and Fred II. I interviewed them. Ara died, the photos were forgotten and sold in a yard sale. They ended up about a mile from my home where on 28 December 2006 I found the first one. It was the kid.
As Sallie aged, she grew embittered about her family's losses which were significant. They lost their fortune and status, but Sallie was always well known where she lived, and being the post mistress for 20 or so years she knew everyone and visa versa.
The Chisum story in New Mexico is a sad one. The heirs are embarrassed about it today and it's not a popular subject. They do talk about the old days tho. Some are very successful ranchers today. Great folks. Funny story: When the John Wayne movie Chisum came out the whole family trouped to the theatre. At that time people were still living who knew Sallie. Betty Chisum told me that during the show they kept saying to each other, "Uncle John didn't do that!" over and over again. Funny. But kind of sad too.
I can only imagine what Sallie saw in her life time. I think Billy was sweet on Sallie but I don't think she felt the same about him. I bet she has young men after her constantly.
Billy was sweet on anyone who wore skirts. He and Sallie danced and then would rock in chairs on the porch and cool off. They probably danced all night long. Billy probably thought he was getting somewhere, but I doubt that Sallie had any plans for Billy the Kid. All she said was that he was "always in the pink when he was with me." She enjoyed Billy's company and little more.
However she did keep his pictures for the balance of her life. Maybe she'd look at them and recall her carefree days dancing and taking wild rides along the Pecos with the kid.
The kid was a charmer and he enjoyed the company of women. He was probably 20. I kind of recall those days myself.