Tag Archives: Sally Skull

KID RUSSELL AND SALLY SKULL: TWO MORE NEGLECTED GUNSLINGERS

Painting by Charles Marion Russell aka Kid Russell

Painting by Charles Marion Russell aka Kid Russell

Frontierado is just over a week away! The joyous day is coming when we can enjoy our meals of buffalo meat, Tumbleweed Pizzas, Southwest Fried Rice, corn on the cob, Cactus Salad, mashed potatoes and Western Spaghetti ! Later we can wash down some Deuces Wilds (Red or Black) and Cactus Jacks while playing Frontierado Poker or watching Silverado.

My most popular Frontierado articles over the years have been the ones about neglected gunslingers of the American West. Here are another man and woman whose lives were at least as interesting as those of the bigger names.

Self-portrait by Kid Russell

Self-portrait by Kid Russell

KID RUSSELL – How cool is it that an authentic, acclaimed international artist spent some of his younger years wandering the Wild West, even earning the nickname Kid Russell? Charles Marion “Kid” Russell was born in 1864 in St Louis, Missouri. As with Klondike Kate Rockwell, most of this figure’s life story is outside the purview of this article.

Since Frontierado is about the myth of the Old West I’ll focus on the legends about Kid Russell’s wild, wandering younger years full of guns, ranches, saloons, cattle drives, bordellos and sketches drawn on any nearby flat surface, sketches that showed the nascent talent that would one day make Russell world-famous.  

Charles Marion RussellWhen he was age 16 Charles’ well-to-do parents gave up trying to force him to continue his schooling at an eastern military academy and let him move to Montana, where, clad in a brand-new buckskin outfit, he worked on a friend’s sheep ranch north of Helena. It took skill with a gun and a true survival instinct to live through encounters with rustlers, hostile cattlemen and their hired gunmen but Charles, already being called Kid Russell, thrived and felt more at home in this rough and tumble lifestyle than among his family’s hoity-toity friends in St Louis high society.     Continue reading

14 Comments

Filed under FRONTIERADO

SALLY SKULL: NEGLECTED GUNSLINGER

Frontierado is Friday, August 5th! 

Sally SkullSALLY SKULL – Sara Jane Newman, the future Sally Skull, was born in Illinois in 1817. In 1823 her family moved to Fayette County in Texas, which was then part of the area that Mexico had seized from Native Americans. 

Like all the other ranch families in the area, whether from Mexico or the U.S., Sally and her family lived a rough life managing their land and surviving periodic assaults from the American Indians in the area. Sally killed her first man – an attacking Indian, when she was 11, using a rifle. At age 12 Sally was proficient with all firearms and provided plenty of food for the family table by hunting. 

In 1831 Sally’s father died and she began running the ranch for her grieving mother, even registering her father’s old brand in her own name. 1833 saw the 16 year old married to a Texas Ranger named Jess Robinson and settled in Gonzalez, TX, still part of Mexico.   

Over the next 10 years, as Texans rebelled against the tyrannical Mexican government and broke away to form their own Republic, Sally and Jess had 2 children who survived – a son and daughter. In 1843 the couple divorced and 11 days later Sally married a gunsmith named George Skull (or Scull), whose last name she would keep throughout all her future marriages.  Continue reading

14 Comments

Filed under FRONTIERADO

TWO MORE NEGLECTED GUNSLINGERS

Painting by Charles Marion Russell aka Kid Russell

Painting by Charles Marion Russell aka Kid Russell

HAPPY FRONTIERADO! The joyous day is here at last so let’s enjoy our meals of buffalo meat, Tumbleweed Pizzas, Southwest Fried Rice, corn on the cob, Cactus Salad, mashed potatoes and Western Spaghetti ! Later we can wash down some Deuces Wilds (Red or Black) and Cactus Jacks while playing Frontierado Poker or watching Silverado.

My most popular Frontierado articles over the years have been the ones about neglected gunslingers of the American West. Here are another man and woman whose lives were at least as interesting as those of the bigger names.

Self-portrait by Kid Russell

Self-portrait by Kid Russell

KID RUSSELL – How cool is it that an authentic, acclaimed international artist spent some of his younger years wandering the Wild West, even earning the nickname Kid Russell? Charles Marion “Kid” Russell was born in 1864 in St Louis, Missouri. As with Klondike Kate Rockwell, most of this figure’s life story is outside the purview of this article.

Since Frontierado is about the myth of the Old West I’ll focus on the legends about Kid Russell’s wild, wandering younger years full of guns, ranches, saloons, cattle drives, bordellos and sketches drawn on any nearby flat surface, sketches that showed the nascent talent that would one day make Russell world-famous.  

Charles Marion RussellWhen he was age 16 Charles’ well-to-do parents gave up trying to force him to continue his schooling and let him move to Montana, where, clad in a brand-new buckskin outfit, he worked on a friend’s sheep ranch north of Helena. It took skill with a gun and a true survival instinct to live through encounters with rustlers, hostile cattlemen and their hired gunmen but Charles, already being called Kid Russell, thrived and felt more at home in this rough and tumble lifestyle than among his family’s hoity-toity friends in St Louis high society.     Continue reading

47 Comments

Filed under FRONTIERADO