50 Wild West Facts That Will Leave You Perplexed

wild west feature

John C. H. Grabill/Wikimedia Commons

When people think of the Wild West they usually associate those times with cowboys running around dueling one another, and while that was the case there was much more to the Wild West than that. The Wild West was a fascinating time when people still governed themselves and society was on the come up. If you are a fan of old westerns or think you know a lot about the Wild West, read on to see if things truly were how people perceived them to be.

general custer

Charles Marion Russell /Wikimedia Commons

When did Sitting Bull defeat General Custer’s army?

The Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux Tribe had Sitting Bull as their tribal chief in the 18th century. He was a defiant chief, and because he was defiant to the US government, he became something of an idol; his movement and person became a symbol of the unrest between his kinsmen and the government. This eventually led to a war between both parties, one from which Sitting Bull and his people emerged victorious after defeating the army of General Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876. He was eventually shot by the police during an arrest attempt after surrendering in 1881.

wild bunch

Unknown author/Wikimedia Commons

Who founded The Wild Bunch?

The fact that the duo of Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy have a movie named after them is the reason why their names are often mentioned interchangeably in history discussions but when it comes down to it, it was Butch Cassidy and not Sundance Kid that founded the gang history remembers as The Wild Bunch. Cassidy’s gang was only one of many loosely organized outlaw gangs that operated in the Hole-in-the-Wall. Although he wasn’t the founder of the gang, Sundance Kid was a member of the movement, along with notorious gunslingers such as the Tall Texan and Kid Curry.


Jerry Skinner/YouTube

When did Mexican troops kill Geronimo’s wife and children?

Geronimo was a native American leader and strategist that led his troops into many battles against Mexican and American forces. His aim was to see his Apache people expand their tribal lands into the territory that is now known as Arizona. His wife and children were killed by Mexican troops in the 1850s, causing him to stage several raids against both Mexican and American forces alike. The tribal leader earned his name from his bravery in the numerous battles he fought; he reportedly killed numerous Mexicans with just his knife in battles where guns were brought to play.

buffalo bill

United States Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons

Who did Buffalo Bill ride for?

Buffalo Bill’s historic and storied career all began at Pony Express where he worked as a rider. That was the foundation for his illustrious career as he soon became a bison hunter and an Army scout as well. Bill was also quite smart; he knew there was a lot of interest in life on the frontier during his time so he took advantage of all that interest by creating the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show. This company brought him to the limelight in addition to making him rich; he was able to tour the United States and Europe as well as a result.


CC BY-SA 2.5/Wikimedia Commons

When was the Adams-Onis Treaty signed?

Jefferson wasn’t done after the purchase of Louisiana as he also had his eyes on Spanish Florida and wanted to claim it also. This led to the Adams-Onis treaty, or the Transcontinental Treaty which was signed in 1819, and effectively handed over Spain’s control of Florida to the United States and therefore created a new boundary between New Spain and the United States. The treaty was however short-lived, as it only lasted about six months, after which Mexico gained independence after the signing of a treaty by Spain.

jesse james


What is Jesse James remembered for?

Jesse James is best remembered for being a famous outlaw. During his reign, the Wild West had its share of famous outlaws but James was arguably the most popular outlaw of his era. He was barely ever alone during his marauding trips too as his brother, Frank James, accompanied him on many of his exploits. The brothers began their careers as criminals during the civil war by serving as Bushwhackers before moving on to establish their own gang of outlaws. Before Jesse James was murdered by a member of his own gang, he and his brother Frank robbed trains, banks, and more.


Feature History/YouTube

When did Texas join the United States?

The decision of Spain to sign a treaty and grant Mexico its independence in the 18th-century had a ripple effect throughout the US as territories that had previously been given to the US were contested by Mexico. It was in line with this trend that Mexico suspended American immigration to Texas in 1830 after gaining its independence. This made people agitate for Texas to become independent too and they finally got what they wanted in 1844 when Texas became an Independent region, paving the way for it to become part of the United States.

manifest destiny

United States Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons

When was the term Manifest Destiny coined?

The term Manifest Destiny was created in 1845 courtesy of a summer issue of the Democratic Review in which it was first published. The term itself is a description of the mentality and philosophy that led to the drive for the exploration of the west, and the expansion into the West, most especially the territory known as Oregon. The term goes further to discuss destiny, saying that the United States was destined by God to expand its territories and therefore expand the reach of capitalism and democracy to the North American continent.



How much territory did the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo grant the US?

After the territory now known as Oregon became part of the US, the expansion agenda of the US continued in earnest as President Polk set his sights on acquiring California from Mexico too. This ultimately led to the Mexican-American war that led to the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo; this historic treaty effectively granted 525,000 miles of territory to the United States. The treaty is the reason why states like New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and Wyoming all exist in the US today as they are all part of the 525,000 miles.


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Which wars made the west particularly dangerous?

The West saw an influx of new settlers looking to explore the territory and expand into it. It wasn’t all roses for the pioneers though as they were faced with difficult conditions and lots of violence. The problem with their expansion drive then was it forced Native Americans away from their lands, causing a total breakdown of law and order in the region, and causing the natives to fight for their everyday survival. This led to the outbreak of the Indian Wars, which began as a result of the expanding tensions between settlers in the West and the natives. The wars made living in the west particularly dangerous.


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Where did the first Quickdraw Gunfight happen?

The first Quickdraw Gunfight happened in Springfield, Missouri and it was a bout between Bill Hickok, a famous gunslinger, and Davis Tutt. The pair had some scores to settle as they were involved in a dispute over money made from gambling; Tutt reportedly underwrote the gamblers so he could swindle Hickok out of some money and chase him from the town. Hickok won the game but rather than concede defeat, Tutt requested some money from a previous horse deal. The next day, Hickok sent a warning to Tutt, prompting him to avoid the square with his stolen watch, and in the end, he shot Tutt in the heart after they both drew.


The History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered/YouTube

When did the first train robbery occur?

The first train robbery happened on a moving train in Indiana in October 1866. The crime was perpetrated by the Reno Gang, and it remains one of the greatest heists in history; the gang of bandits hopped on the train and compelled the messenger in charge of the safe keys to grant them access to one of the safes. Once they were in the safe, they found $18,000 cash along with jewelry and other valuables that they carted away. There was also a bigger safe, but because that didn’t have a key, the Gang kicked it off in an attempt to escape with it but they abandoned it in the end.


Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons

Which town was notoriously violent in the 18th century?

Movies and TV shows tend to depict the Wild West as being more violent than it really was in reality. The Wild West was violent, true, but it wasn’t exactly lawless; some towns and cities were more violent than others but few were as violent as Dodge City, the most violent town in that era. Dodge City had a significantly high murder rate; about 165 adults were killed there per 100,000 people, meaning people living there in the late 18th century had a 1 in 61 likelihood of being murdered. In comparison, Mexico’s Los Cobos, one of the most violent cities in recent memory, has a murder rate of 138 people killed per 100,000 people.



How much did the US government allocate to importing camels in 1855?

Camels were quite scarce in the US before 1855 when the US government shelled out $30,000 for the purchase and importation of camels. The officer in charge of that decision was then secretary of war, Jefferson Davis, whose belief at the time was that camels were necessary for the drive to create transportation lines to the west as the transcontinental railroad wasn’t close to being completed then. 75 camels were therefore imported and kept in central Texas from where they were used on supply runs to San Antonio. They were however not used in the army.


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Who successfully robbed 28 stagecoaches in the late 18th century?

The Wild West had its share of outlaws and murderous lowlifes, some of whom have been portrayed to varying degrees of accuracy by movies. However, even in an era of outlaws, Charles Boles stood out for his daredevil stunts; he was a very successful robber that robbed 28 stagecoaches from 1875 to 1883. All the affected stagecoaches were owned by Wells Fargo. Boles’ method was to wear a flour sack with holes for his eyes, wear a derby hat and hold a gun. He would ask his crew to point their guns at the driver to compel him to cooperate, and once the deed was done, Boles would leave poems for law enforcement.


Shauri/Wikimedia Commons

Where was John Welsey Hardin from?

According to several reports from this era, the deadliest outlaw was John Wesley Hardin, a man from Texas. The notorious outlaw reportedly began his life of crime at 14, after stabbing and nearly killing a fellow student. A year later, he killed his uncle’s slaves and three soldiers as well. Hardin left behind an autobiography in which he claimed to have killed 44 people but there are doubts surrounding that claim because he made other claims that are difficult to confirm. Regardless of what he said, the belief is that Hardin might have killed up to 30 people in this era.


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Who was the second woman to rob a stagecoach?

Pearl Hart was the second woman to rob a stagecoach in history; she was also the first to not be killed while robbing a stagecoach as she was pardoned 18 months after the crime as a result of lack of accommodation in prison. From a young age, she was more interested in adventure than education so she eloped with Fredrick Hart at a young age, after which she moved to Arizona. Together with her husband, Joe Boot, she took up robbery and robbed a stagecoach in 1899. Her plan only failed because she and Boot got lost in the desert.


Historic Fine Art/YouTube

Which animal is a symbol of the West?

In settling the west, and in the era of the Wild West, Horses played a significant role as they were a popular symbol of the entire West back then. The new settlers in the West brought with them, lots of superstitions about horseshoes; they brought the sentiment that horseshoes drove evil spirits away in instances where they are nailed above a ship’s sailing mast or a doorway. The spirit part of the superstition surrounding horses faded away gradually but horses remained a lucky symbol in the era; horseshoes were a common sight above doors and on pegs in a common game.


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What was the word for complaining in Wild West lingo?

The Wild West was a whole new frontier back in the days, and as a result, there was a new language in play then, one with its own set of phrases and slang, some of which are still in use today. The term Bellyaching was used to describe complaining, same as Caterwauling, which also means bad singing. On the other hand, Fandango was derived from Spanish and refers to a big party with plenty of dancing. Hankering describes having a desire for something, while highfalutin meant a snooty or arrogant person.


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Where was Gold first discovered in the West?

The discovery of gold in California in 1848 had the immediate effect of bringing about an instant influx of settlers to the West. This era was termed the era of the gold rush, and it signified the migration of hordes of people looking to cash in on the new discovery. According to reports, more than 175,000 people moved to the West looking to become super-rich quickly but as it is with everything else, some were luckier than others. It didn’t help that things were quite expensive in mining towns.


C. S. Fly – Tombstone 1881/Wikimedia Commons

How long did the O.K. Corral shootout last?

The shootout at the O.K. Corral is one of the most popularly told stories out of the Wild West but all that fame and retelling of how it went down means some details have been lost and amended. First of all, the shooting only lasted about 30 seconds even though about 8 people were involved in it; it also didn’t happen at the O.K. Corral but at the intersection of Fremont Street and Third Street in Tombstone, Arizona. That place is located behind the corral, which explains the mixup; nevertheless, the bloodshed at the shootout was very real as three lawmen were injured and three cowboys died.

lone star

Bill Dickinson/Flickr

Where did the Texas Lone Star originate from?

From the days of the Wild West through today, the State of Texas has been known as the Lone Star State, courtesy of its flag with the singular 5 pointed star. What many people don’t know about the state’s symbol is its origin; it reportedly originated from German Settlers who populated the region that became known as Texas and had a habit of painting stars on their barns. The barn star was one of several customs brought into Texas by settlers; it is quite obviously the inspiration behind the state’s emblem and flag.



Which path did settlers traveling to the West travel?

The era of the Wild West saw a lot of settlers and travelers from far and wide venture to the West on a hunt for riches. Most of them traveled on a path called the Oregon Trail, which started at Independence in the East and extended to Oregon City in the West. A lot of people that ventured on this journey lost their lives before arriving at their destinations; some died fighting the Native Americans that were defending their land while others perished as a result of illness. The westward movement of people inspired the wagon trail popularly depicted in movies.


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Where did the first Armed Bank Robbery occur?

The first Armed Bank Robbery was actually staged in Malden, Massachusetts, in 1863. However, rather than use guns, the robbers used forged keys; the incident happened at noon, right when the town’s postmaster, a man known as Edward Green, walked into Malden Bank to get change. Green was drunk and heavily indebted so he returned to the bank and shot the son of the bank president dead so he could walk away with $5,000, the equivalent of about $100,000 today. Unfortunately for Green, people grew suspicious when he became able to sort his debts all of a sudden and he was eventually found guilty of the crime.



Which is the oldest settlement in the US?

Jamestown is often mentioned during discussions about the oldest settlement in the US mostly because it is an old town that was settled all the way back in 1607; while this is quite old, it still doesn’t make the town the oldest US settlement; that title belongs to Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico which has been in existence since 1150 AD, and is, therefore, the oldest inhabited community in the history of North America. In recent times, the town is officially known as the Sky City and it is home to thousands of Indian Tribe tribal members, with federal recognition for the tribe.


True West Magazine/YouTube

Which drink was the favorite drink of Cowboys?

Back in the days and during the era of the Wild West, the favorite drink of cowboys was whiskey. The drink had lots of names as a result, and while it was easily the cowboys’ favored drink, there weren’t fancy labels then as there are now, and sophisticated connoisseurs were tough to find as well so the cowboys didn’t exactly get fancy whiskey to drink. According to reports, in fact, the cowboys had to make do with some really bad whiskey, the kind that was termed saloon fuel. They persisted in their whiskey adventures nonetheless and even adopted names like tornado juice, gut water, joy juice, and more.


Mike King/YouTube

Where did companies find fighting men for hire?

The Wild West was a dangerous place from inception; it was home to extreme violence, criminal gangs, and outlaws even though some pretty important companies also existed in the region. As a result of the amount of violence around them, the companies that operated in the region had to seek protection and they found it by hiring fighting men to help protect their investments. They found most of the fighting personnel for hire in Dodge City, Kansas; the city was a famous hangout for gunslingers so it fit the bill perfectly.



Where are Texas Longhorns originally from?

In the era of the Wild West, Texas was arguably the most important settlement because of the volume of activities and number of episodes that happened in the state. A lot of symbols that originated from Texas, therefore, became general cowboy symbols, and that includes the symbol of the famous cattle called the Texas Longhorn. This breed of cattle was commonplace in states across the Wild West, including Colorado and Texas; they were known for their toughness and ability to survive difficult drives across the region. However, these majestic animals weren’t native to America and were originally from Spain.



Which element did cowboys use in addition to the hat and the boots?

Back then, cowboys populated the region known as the Wild West in numbers; this group of Wild West dwellers were easily identifiable courtesy of their unique style as they would often adorn a hat and boots. However, in addition to their boots and hats, the cowboys also found bandanas to be quite useful and so they used this element as well. Their use of bandanas was very practical; they used them to protect their necks from sunburn, their ears from the biting cold of the night, and at night it was used as a dusk mask to protect them from dirt.


Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division/Wikimedia Commons

When did General Hopkins invade New Mexico?

In order to fill the coffers of rebels with gold from the Cripple Creek, Confederate General Henry Hopkins Sibley invaded the territory of New Mexico from the south in early 1862. Hopkins believed he could simply march into the Rio Grande and take control of the whole of Colorado from there but his thinking was flawed. What Hopkins didn’t realize is that the First Regiment of Volunteers were stationed in Colorado and because they were aware of his plan, they were able to march several hundred miles south in less than two weeks to provide reinforcement for the Yankees at Fort Union.


Luke McKernan/Flickr

Who is credited for inventing the Western film genre?

After starring in the 1903 film, The Great Train Robbery, Broncho Billy Anderson was credited for inventing the Western film genre. The son of a traveling Arkansas salesman, he was born Maxwell Henry Aronson; he found his way to New York City as soon as he was old enough in order to star in films; his decision paid off as he soon produced and acted in hundreds of films. Anderson created the Broncho Billy persona after he was cast by chance in The Great Robbery, which did pretty well.


National Geographic/YouTube

Where did Jesse James live after his years of crime?

At the peak of his notoriety, few outlaws were as legendary as Jesse James; he was a legendary outlaw and bank robber that was feared by many and had his fair share of enemies. After his days as a bank robber ended, James lived a quiet life in Kearney, Missouri but he remained on the minds of his adversaries and friends alike. He was eventually murdered and he was buried in his farm’s front yard; he was eventually buried in a Kearney cemetery. But then, there’s another Jesse James grave in Texas, and its occupant is J. Frank Dalton who claimed to be the real Jesse James.


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Which territory was the first to cede to the US?

Between the 16th to 19th centuries, the entire region that encompasses Florida and modern-day states like Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and California were governed by New Spain. Little by little, the territories were ceded to the US with Florida being the first to cede to the US in 1819. After the Mexican-American War, the other territories followed suit by ceding to the US as well. A treaty was signed that compelled Mexico to recognize the ceding of Texas to the US; Mexico also agreed to sell most of the territory north of the Rio Grande to the United States for $15 million.


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Who was the first US deputy marshal west of the Mississippi river?

What a lot of people don’t know about the West is that about a quarter of the cowboys were black; this fact isn’t well depicted in Hollywood westerns but it is nonetheless the case in reality. While settling in Texas, lots of American ranchers brought their slaves along with them; most were compelled to leave their slaves behind to attend to their herds while fighting in the Civil War. The abolition of slavery meant that the cowhands were free and in demand. As a result, individuals like Bass Reeves, the first US deputy marshal west of the Mississippi, were able to roam free and embrace the lifestyle.


Teen Vogue/YouTube

Who was the last Native American leader to formally surrender?

Chiricahua Apache leader, Geronimo, was the last Native American leader to formally surrender to the US. His surrender came after several years of battles against the US Army; he and his band were taken captive by the US forces in 1877, after which they were transferred to an Arizona reservation. However, after years of roaming and living in the wild, Geronimo couldn’t adapt to a settled life and as a result, he escaped on three different occasions; first in 1878, then in 1881, and lastly in 1885. He was pursued each time but his last escape sprang the hottest pursuit as a quarter of the US army went looking for him.


Richard Frajola/Wikimedia Commons

For how long did the Pony Express operate?

The Pony Express was a popular postal service and a symbol of the Old West. The service didn’t operate for very long though; it only operated for 18 months between 1860 and 1861 before folding up. The postal service was created as a means of getting national news and matters of national interest across to the west faster amid rising tensions before the Civil War. The Express operated with a team of about 80 riders that carried mail night and day on a 1,900-mile journey. They had to swap horses to maintain full gallop and keep delivery times short.



When did the Donner Party undertake their epic journey?

In 1846, a group of settlers known as the Donner Party commenced their epic journey from Missouri to California aboard a wagon train. Unfortunately, they got trapped by snow while crossing the Sierra Nevada and remained there for four terribly long months; their supplies were badly depleted during those months and lots of stories emerged about how the survivors made it out. According to some reports of the journey, some of the survivors were compelled to eat the flesh of those that didn’t make it. There were only 48 survivors of the original 87 that embarked on the journey.



What are the leather covers that were used to protect the cowboy’s legs called?

The cowboy outfit is a reflection of the cowboy lifestyle; their clothes were designed to be warm and tough due to the nature of what cowboys do. Their outfits must be able to survive difficult weather conditions and rough treatment as well. They also needed to be comfortable as cowboys would go weeks without changing their outfits. The outfits themselves were typically denim jeans made with leather covers called chaps, which were designed to help protect a cowboy’s legs. The cowboys also wore Stetsons, wide-brimmed hats meant to protect them from the sun’s glare while riding through heat and dust.

big nose kate

Photography Studio/Wikimedia Commons

Who was Big Nose Kate trying to free when she set fire to an old shed?

After losing her wealthy parents as a teenager, Mary Katherine Haroney became orphaned and was placed in foster care. The foster system wasn’t meant for her, however, as she soon fled her home to tie the knot with a dentist but that didn’t last long either because he died and she left for Texas. During her time as a prostitute and dance hall girl, she soon earned the nickname Big Nose Kate courtesy of her prominent nose. Big Nose Kate set fire to an old shed in order to create a distraction and set Doc Holiday free from captivity.

south dakota

Weird History/YouTube

When was gold discovered in South Dakota?

Deadwood, South Dakota became a very rough and rowdy place towards the end of the 19th century; the reason behind this transformation is the discovery of gold in the town in 1868. However, the government kept the discovery hidden in order to honor a treaty signed with the Lakota-Sioux. Unfortunately, the secrecy surrounding the discovery was shredded after a miner struck gold in the Deadwood Gulch, leading to an influx of miners in their numbers; within 12 months, the town was populated with miners looking to make some quick bucks.


True West Magazine/YouTube]

What was the preferred weapon of gunfighters?

During the days of the Wild West, a significant percentage of settlers carried guns with them at all times in order to protect themselves. Gunfighters such as Wild Bill Hickock were particularly fond of the six-shooter revolver, making it quite famous and it has remained so to this day. Today, the six-shooter revolver remains a symbol of the Wild West and is a recognizable symbol; an image of two crossed six-shooters can be found on sculptures and t-shirts. It is also commonplace on gravestones.


Unknown author/Wikimedia Commons

What are Mexican cowboys called?

A strange fact about the modern-day cowboy that isn’t mentioned frequently enough is the link between the American cowboys and the Mexican cowboys known as Vaqueros. The truth is, a lot of the personality traits of the modern cowboy were inspired by Mexican cowboys; this includes everything from their western vocabulary to their work/riding attires that spawned similar cowboy outfits in the West. From all indications, the era of cowboys and the Vaqueros Mexican counterpart emerged in the 19th century. Even the hats and shoes of cowboys have a Mexican vibe to them.


Moffett, Chicago/Wikimedia Commons

What type of gun did Buffalo Bill carry?

A common misconception about the era of cowboys and the wild west is that cowboys carried guns in order to go about seeking conflict. While some cowboys certainly acted just like this, the truth is most of them simply carried guns so they could protect their livestock from predators. However, while some cowboys weren’t fond of carrying rifles on horseback, others couldn’t be separated from their rifles. Famous outlaw, Buffalo Bill was a rifle wielder as well; he reportedly carried a Winchester rifle of 1873, one of the most popular cowboy rifles.



Since when has Acoma Pueblo been occupied?

Native Americans had populated their native lands for several generations before the arrival of Europeans. The case is the same with Acoma Pueblo, the settlement believed to be the oldest in the United States; the region lies to the west of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and has been occupied since the 12th Century. The Acoma call their settlement the Sky City; it sits atop a 365-foot mesa and is home to about 4,800 people. The Acoma are historically hunters and traders but the existence of a casino complex and cultural center means they now make money from these too.



Which material were cowboys’ lassos made from?

In addition to their rifles and pistols, cowboys also typically carried with them a rope or lasso which could be used as a weapon as well. The tightly twisted rope is also known as a lariat, and it is made from rawhide. This type of rope even has a Hondo on top and a small loop in which when one end is passed through it, then a small loop, called Hondo, becomes formed. The rope can be a deadly weapon in the possession of a skilled cowboy; it was also used to keep a herd in line and protect animals from predators.


Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

What helped cowboys control and steer their horses?

A lot of what cowboys wore and what they carried with them were for practical reasons; their clothing, hats, and boots were all tailored for their lifestyle. The cowboy boots were quite important as they were a vital part of a cowboy’s outfit; the boots helped them walk on uneven terrains and navigate rough ones too. The spurs on the back of cowboy boots were also designed for practical purposes as they were there to help them steer and control their horses quickly during riding sessions and such. Also, in order to keep the feet of cowboys firmly on the ground, the boots had high heels.


New York Public Library/Wikimedia Commons

What kind of saddle did cowboys favor for riding along with livestock?

Back in the day, cowboys would usually sit on the western saddle, a specially designed saddle that helped them ride along with their livestock so they could keep their eyes on them. Beyond the saddle, they also wore leather chaps as pants; the chaps were made to protect cowboys from injury as a result of thorny bushes and difficult terrains. To keep themselves entertained in the vast expanses of empty land they sometimes would play a musical instrument, usually the Harmonica, because it was easy to carry.


Baker’s Art Gallery/Wikimedia Commons

Who was the first female expert markswoman?

Annie Oakley was an expert markswoman and the first female expert markswoman; she broke new ground by becoming a superstar in a profession that was traditionally dominated by men. Oakley entered a shooting match with skilled marksman, Frank Butler, in 1875, and to everyone’s surprise, she won the match and they got married a while after. After marrying Butler, Oakley joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and became quite popular as a result. For nearly two decades after she joined, Oakley performed on the show and wowed audiences with her tricks.


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Who was regarded as the greatest gunfighter in the West?

Wild Bill Hickock is regarded as the greatest gunfighter in the West; he was a legendary gunfighter feared by adversaries and admired by friends. After his arrival in Deadwood, South Dakota, Hickock could usually be found at the town’s poker tables where he liked to have fun. His story cannot be separated from the Dead Man’s hand as he died holding a pair of black eights and black aces in his hand, leading to this being known as the Dead Man’s Hand ever since.


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