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Stage Road Between Ogden and Helena, 1871

Ghost Cowboy is about real tales from the 19th-century American frontier, when the Old West was young. Most of the posts here are actual news items from the 1800s and early 1900s. We'll be adding "new" content every week. Travel with us and sign up for an account, and you'll be able to leave comments and post in our forums. Your trailmasters, Ken in Alabama and Dave in Virginia, don't get to saddle up and vacation out west as often as they'd like, so they started this site. Drop us a note.



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The New York Times / October 21, 1881
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 20. -- A dispatch from Prescott, Arizona, says: "Deputy Sheriff Briant was killed while in the discharge of his duty by a desperado named Miller. The murderer escaped, but is being pursued by a large force."

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 20. -- A dispatch to the Republican from Jerseyville, Ill. says: "Charles Cay and John Burrus went into Wesley Parks & Son's bank at Fieldon at 2 o'clock yesterday, and, at the muzzle of two revolvers, compelled Mr. Park to open his safe and give them $8,500. The robbers then mounted their horses and rode away. Mr. Park followed them to the street and fired upon them, killing one of their horses. The dismounted robber mounted behind his companion, and both rode off together. Sheriff Massey raised a posse, and is now scouring the country for the robbers."

River Camp: c1905

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River CampA Crow man with two children and a woman at river's edge in Montana. Photograph by Edward S. Curtis, c1905. View full image.


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Fresno Republican / December 8, 1883

From the San Francisco Family Jewel

County Clerk George H. Webb of Louisville, Ky., tells a thrilling story of how himself and wife and five other passengers were robbed in a California stagecoach on the 13th of August. The stage was on its way from Madera to the Yosemite Valley, a two days’ ride over the mountains. The passengers, besides Mr. and Mrs. Webb, were Captain Murray of England, a Mr. Ray and sister of Buffalo, N.Y., and Captains Clayton and Johnson of Fort Smith, Ark., seven persons in all besides the driver, a man named John F. Stevens, who had made many a trip before without ever being compelled to “throw up his hands.” About 11 o’clock in the morning of the second day out, and when the stage was nearest Yosemite Valley, the horses


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Springfield Journal / April 15, 1867

A Man Robbed of $15,000 in a Railway Car.

Mr. I. F. Hedges, a resident of Girard, in this State, was robbed of $15,475 on Friday night last, while on the cars between Chicago and this city. It appears that Mr. Hedges had been to Kentucky, with a drove of mules, and reached Chicago by way of the Central Railroad, where he got his drafts cashed and took the Friday evening train on the Chicago and Alton Road for home. He states that he did not take the sleeping car for fear he might fall asleep and lose his money, and he therefore took the regular passenger car and has no recollection of falling asleep from the time he left Chicago until he arrived at this place.


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