Tag Archives: Poker Alice

NEGLECTED FEMALE GUNSLINGERS OF THE WEST

Frontierado is Friday, August 2nd! In honor of that upcoming 3-day holiday here is a look at female gunslingers who don’t get as much attention as the big names like Calamity Jane, Belle Starr and Annie Oakley.

Queen Kitty

Queen Kitty

QUEEN KITTY – Kitty LeRoy was also known as Kitty the Schemer, Dancing Kitty, the Female Arsenal and much later as Deadwood Kitty. Queen Kitty is the most appropriate nickname in part because of her last name but mostly because she was variously known as “the Queen of the Hoofers”, “the Dancing Queen”, “the Queen of the Barbary Coast” and “the Queen of the Faro Tables”.

Kitty was born in 1850 and by the age of 10 was earning money for her family as a professional dancer and novelty act in her home state of Michigan. By 14 she was performing exclusively at adult venues and had added trick shooting to her repertoire.

Her most famous shooting trick at this time was shooting apples off the heads of volunteers. At age 15 Queen Kitty was performing in New Orleans and married her first husband – the only man in the city brave enough to let Kitty shoot apples off his head while she was riding around him at a full gallop.

LeRoy loved flirting and sleeping around, however, and this led to the breakup of her first marriage within a year. By 1870 Queen Kitty had married a second time, to a man named Donnaly, with whom she had a daughter. The Queen had gravitated more and more to the Faro tables, making a killing as a celebrity dealer.

With Dallas as a home base Kitty and her husband would travel throughout Texas with LeRoy earning money dancing and dealing Faro. Kitty also earned a name for being able to handle any violence that came her way from sore losers and was involved in multiple gunfights and knife fights in dangerous saloons. Continue reading

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under FRONTIERADO

NEGLECTED FEMALE GUNSLINGERS OF THE WEST

Frontierado is this Friday, August 7th! In honor of the season here is a look at female gunslingers who don’t get as much attention as the big names like Calamity Jane, Belle Starr and Annie Oakley.

Queen Kitty

Queen Kitty

QUEEN KITTY – Kitty LeRoy was also known as Kitty the Schemer, Dancing Kitty, the Female Arsenal and much later as Deadwood Kitty. Queen Kitty is the most appropriate nickname in part because of her last name but mostly because she was variously known as “the Queen of the Hoofers”, “the Dancing Queen”, “the Queen of the Barbary Coast” and “the Queen of the Faro Tables”.

Kitty was born in 1850 and by the age of 10 was earning money for her family as a professional dancer and novelty act in her home state of Michigan. By 14 she was performing exclusively at adult venues and had added trick shooting to her repertoire.

Her most famous shooting trick at this time was shooting apples off the heads of volunteers. At age 15 Queen Kitty was performing in New Orleans and married her first husband – the only man in the city brave enough to let Kitty shoot apples off his head while she was riding around him at a full gallop.

LeRoy loved flirting and sleeping around, however, and this led to the breakup of her first marriage within a year. By 1870 Queen Kitty had married a second time, to a man named Donnaly, with whom she had a daughter. The Queen had gravitated more and more to the Faro tables, making a killing as a celebrity dealer.

With Dallas as a home base Kitty and her husband would travel throughout Texas with LeRoy earning money dancing and dealing Faro. Kitty also earned a name for being able to handle any violence that came her way from sore losers and was involved in multiple gunfights and knife fights in dangerous saloons. Continue reading

52 Comments

Filed under FRONTIERADO

TEN NEGLECTED GUNSLINGERS OF THE OLD WEST

MASCOT COWBOY 2

“Hold it right there,” the gunslinger exclaimed, “We got us some apparent paradoxes and their effect upon contemporary philosophy to discuss … you savvy?”

JUST 30 DAYS UNTIL FRONTIERADO! As always Frontierado is about celebrating the myth of the Wild West and not the grinding reality. Part of the fun each year is an examination of neglected gunslingers from the 1800s. 

The likes of Billy the Kid, Doc Holliday, Calamity Jane and Jesse James have been the subject of a variety of movies and folk tales. Unfortunately some figures from the Wild West led lives at least as interesting as the big names did but have not gotten nearly as much attention. Here is a look at ten such men and women.

Rattlesnake Dick

Rattlesnake Dick

10. RATTLESNAKE DICK – No, he’s not a porn star. Dick Barton was originally from England but migrated with his family to the United States.In 1849 he joined the California Gold Rush but, having no luck at prospecting, formed an outlaw gang and took to robbing gold and payroll shipments instead. His second-in- command Cyrus Skinner was once shot down in a gunfight with Wells Fargo detectives and the stolen gold that Skinner had hidden before dying was fruitlessly sought after for years. Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under FRONTIERADO

TEN NEGLECTED GUNSLINGERS: COUNTDOWN TO FRONTIERADO

JUST 30 DAYS UNTIL FRONTIERADO! As always Frontierado is about celebrating the myth of the Wild West and not the grinding reality. Part of the fun each year is an examination of neglected gunslingers from the 1800’s. 

The likes of Billy the Kid, Doc Holliday, Calamity Jane and Jesse James have been the subject of a variety of movies and folk tales. Unfortunately some figures from the Wild West led lives at least as interesting as the big names did but have not gotten nearly as much attention. Here is a look at ten such men and women.

Rattlesnake Dick

Rattlesnake Dick

10. RATTLESNAKE DICK – No, he’s not a porn star. Dick Barton was originally from England but migrated with his family to the United States.In 1849 he joined the California Gold Rush but, having no luck at prospecting, formed an outlaw gang and took to robbing gold and payroll shipments instead. His second-in- command Cyrus Skinner was once shot down in a gunfight with Wells Fargo detectives and the stolen gold that Skinner had hidden before dying was fruitlessly sought after for years. Continue reading

24 Comments

Filed under FRONTIERADO

FOUR COOL BUT FORGOTTEN GUNSLINGERS FOR FRONTIERADO

Bear River Tom Smith

Bear River Tom Smith

The Frontierado holiday is coming up on Friday, August 2nd and Balladeer’s Blog continues presenting holiday- themed articles. I know that in reality the gunfighters of the old west were thugs and worse but Frontierado is about the myth of the American west, not the grinding reality. 

As the glorious day approaches and we are all making our holiday preparations enjoy a sampling of this group of colorful characters who don’t get the attention – or movies – they deserve.

1. BEAR RIVER TOM – That’s our top-ranked figure in the photo to your left. One of the few actual gunmen to wear a fancy two-gun holster, Bear River Tom Smith’s myth begins with his birth in 1838 in New York City. He either did or did not serve in the Union Army in 1861 (accounts vary) but was definitely part of the NYC police force by 1862. In 1867 he headed west, working as a laborer laying track for the Union Pacific Railroad  in Nebraska.

By 1868 the crew he was with had reached Wyoming, where the Hell On Wheels town of Bear River sprang up around their work camp. Bear River was to wild, lawless railroad towns what Dodge City, Kansas was to wild, lawless cattletowns. Bear River Tom put his guns, fists and law enforcement experience to Continue reading

31 Comments

Filed under FRONTIERADO

FOUR FORGOTTEN GUNSLINGERS WITH COOL NICKNAMES

Bear River Tom Smith

Bear River Tom Smith

The Frontierado holiday is coming up on Friday, August 3rd and Balladeer’s Blog continues presenting holiday- themed articles. I know that in reality the gunfighters of the old west were thugs and worse but Frontierado is about the myth of the American west, not the grinding reality. 

As the glorious day approaches and we are all making our holiday preparations enjoy a sampling of this group of colorful characters who don’t get the attention – or movies – they deserve.

1. BEAR RIVER TOM – That’s our top-ranked figure in the photo to your left. One of the few actual gunmen to wear a fancy two-gun holster, Bear River Tom Smith’s myth begins with his birth in 1838 in New York City. He either did or did not serve in the Union Army in 1861 (accounts vary) but was definitely part of the NYC police force by 1862. In 1867 he headed west, working as a laborer laying track for the Union Pacific Railroad  in Nebraska.

By 1868 the crew he was with had reached Wyoming, where the Hell On Wheels town of Bear River sprang up around their work camp. Bear River was to wild, lawless railroad towns what Dodge City, Kansas was to wild, lawless cattletowns. Bear River Tom put his guns, fists and law enforcement experience to work protecting the Continue reading

161 Comments

Filed under FRONTIERADO