Frontierado Season is fast approaching! That holiday celebrating the mythic aspects of the Old West falls on the first Friday of August. To help us all start to get in the mood here are some new Frontierado Sagas in the spirit of Tomahawk Tam, the Blackwater Kid and others. (FOR MORE FRONTIERADO ITEMS CLICK HERE )
SIX-GUN CAESAR (Ethan Van Sciver) – The man who would go on to fame as Six-Gun Caesar was born Ethan Van Sciver to a Mormon family from Philadelphia. By the time he was a teenager Ethan was already a skilled gunman and was serving as a Danite, one of the gunslinging “knights” of the Mormon faith.
Ethan and his fellow Danites safeguarded Mormon pilgrims on their journey to Deseret (later the state of Utah) after the Mormon Wars in Missouri and Illinois drove the persecuted practitioners of that faith westward. After years of experience protecting Mormon wagon trains from outlaws, hostile Native Americans and hooded anti-Mormon mobs, Van Sciver gained even greater prominence during the May 1857 to July 1858 Utah War.
During that conflict between the Mormons and the U.S. Army, Ethan’s military genius and guerilla warfare savvy earned him the nickname Six-Gun Caesar. Years later Van Sciver wearied of all the politicking and in-fighting among the Mormon leadership and had a massive falling-out with Brigham Young himself.
Exiled from the church and from Utah, Six-Gun Caesar bid a sad farewell to his three wives and eleven children and rode off to greater glory. Having grown cynical, Ethan hired out his gun in a series of Range Wars, little caring which side he was on.
By the mid 1870s Six-Gun Caesar invested his mercenary wages in some land in New Mexico Territory. He named his spread the Flying Frog Ranch and registered his CG brand. His new wife Andrea was skilled with a rifle and helped Six-Gun Caesar in his early conflicts with border-crossing Mexican Bandits, renegade Native Americans and rustlers trying to counterfeit his CG brand.
Van Sciver’s uncanny skill at gunplay and his lifelong experience in armed conflicts let him lead his own hired guns to victory in a few range wars in the next few years. So many gunslingers became associated with Ethan that historians have come to view them as Van Sciver’s Old West Knights of the Round Table. It got so that even Billy the Kid knew better than to mess with Six-Gun Caesar.
The Flying Frog Ranch thrived despite all the attempts its enemies made to destroy it and Ethan eventually owned the largest spread in the Territory. His wife Andrea is remembered for leading the push for statehood for New Mexico.
Dime Novels and movies about Van Sciver have embellished and clouded some of the facts surrounding this towering figure from the frontier age, ensuring that his legend will live on.
ZACK THE KID (Richard C Meyer) – Richard C Meyer is better known as the gunfighter called Zack the Kid. The precise origin of that nickname is shrouded in mystery because every time Richard would try explaining it his listeners would eventually grow bored and fall asleep.
The handsome ladies man was being educated at West Point but got expelled during his second year after an exchange of gunfire with another Cadet. The other participant accused Meyer of stealing his woman.
Richard still loved the thought of serving his country and enlisted privately to fight in the war with Mexico (1846-1848). Young Ulysses S Grant was also serving in that war and personally commended Meyer for his courage and resourcefulness against the enemy.
In the latter part of 1847 the war was as good as won when U.S. forces – including Zack – took Mexico City. From then until the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in 1848, American soldiers in Mexico were stuck serving as targets for various guerilla attacks.
Many successful shootouts against the guerillas were led by Zack, already being called the Kid (possibly because of his youthful appearance, a youthfulness he retained even in his more mature years).
Back home in America after the war, the Kid wandered west to the California goldfields. He failed to strike it rich there and wound up turning to pugilism just to make a living. Called “The Jawbreaker” Zack enjoyed moderate success as a boxer in primitive California saloons.
Eventually the Kid was befriended by THE Kit Carson, which led to Zack’s career as a scout and Indian fighter for several wagon trains west and periodically for the U.S. Army. Zack the Kid’s adventures all over the American West filled Dime Novels of the time and made him the hero of every schoolboy in the country.
By the late 1850s the Kid was serving as a lawman in iconic Santa Fe but when the Civil War broke out in 1861 Zack headed East to enlist on the Union side. Once again, Meyer served his country well during a bitter conflict and was even one of the captured Union officers who participated in the mass escape from the Confederate Prisoner of War Camp in Libby, VA in early 1864.
After the war ended, Zack the Kid – who had won the Medal of Honor during the conflict – retired as a Major and returned to Santa Fe. He wound up having to take up arms against the corrupt mayor and Sheriff but ultimately emerged victorious against them.
Zack became one of the most legendary lawmen in New Mexico history and grew to be close friends with rancher Ethan Van Sciver, Six-Gun Caesar himself. The Kid once famously told Ethan “I’d take a bullet for you.” Their storied friendship is set alongside that of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp and others.
FRISCO ANNA (Anna That Star Wars Girl) – Even as a little girl in San Francisco this wild woman of the west was always getting into trouble. Notoriously, she caught a bullet while thwarting a bank robbery at age thirteen and carried that projectile in her body for the rest of her life.
From there Frisco Anna went on to further exploits by becoming a stage coach driver against her parents’ wishes. In this, Anna was thought to be imitating her hero Delia Haskett, one of California’s pioneering ladies.
After single-handedly shooting dead a trio of would-be stage coach robbers, Frisco Anna stopped wanting to be a driver and preferred to literally “ride shotgun” on Wells Fargo stage coaches. The petite but feisty dynamo dealt out summary justice to any bandits foolish enough to attack a stage coach under her protection.
Over the years Anna’s uncanny skill with firearms and her adventurous spirit led to her being signed as the first female field operative for the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Astride her stallion named Peaches, Frisco Anna roamed the west, corralling many an outlaw and shooting down many more.
Anna’s beauty was as legendary as her crime-fighting adventures and she was wooed by men from all around the world. In the end she turned down marriage proposals from British composer David Bowie and the King of Portugal to marry a ranch owner named George. His last name is disputed but Frisco Anna managed his Skywalker Ranch for years after George died on their wedding night.
THE LOBO KID (Jon Malin) – The bearded badass Jon Malin was linked to wolves in so many tall tales and legends surrounding his mysterious past that it was pretty much inevitable that he would pick up a nickname like the Lobo Kid.
This figure burst upon the scene in the early 1870s as a Bounty Hunter. The Lobo Kid was known for his brawling, his heavy drinking and his love of tracking down and blowing away only the deadliest outlaws wanted for the highest bounties.
Eventually the Lobo Kid was infamous from the Alberta Badlands to Northern Mexico and Baja California. Not just wanted outlaws fell to his guns but so did anyone questioning Jon’s honesty at card-playing or trying to move in on his girlfriends.
Malin was always looking for a fight and when challenging saloons full of dangerous hombres he would make with his famous cry “I see nothing but mere mortals before me.” Left unsaid was the fact that the Kid would make at least one of those present figuratively “immortal” as one of his victims if they dared draw their guns on him.
Over time even cocky up-and-coming gunslingers trying to make a name for themselves learned that tussling with the Lobo Kid was simple suicide. With most men cowering at the merest mention of his name, Malin took to tangling with entire gangs of bandits, backed up by the Malin Militia, his gunfighting proteges.
The legendary Kid Russell was known to praise Jon’s skill as an artist and encouraged him to refine his talents.
Believe it or not, the Lobo Kid ultimately met the right woman, settled down and changed his name to get away from his violent past. His final fate is unknown.
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