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Masterson, Bat (26 November 1853–25 October 1921), frontier lawman and sportswriter, was born Bartholomew Masterson in Henryville, Quebec, Canada, the son of Thomas Masterson, a farmer, and Catherine McGurk. The name Bart was corrupted to Bat in his early years. He later assumed the name William Barclay, and it was as William Barclay “Bat” Masterson that he became a well-known frontier figure. The Masterson family entered the United States about 1861 and began a ten-year westward trek with stops in New York, Illinois, and Missouri before settling in Sedgwick County, Kansas, in June 1871. The seven Masterson children received limited formal education in one-room schoolhouses along the way....

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Gaston B. Means Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-109386).

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Means, Gaston Bullock (11 July 1879–12 December 1938), spy, swindler, and detective, was born in Blackwelder’s Spring, North Carolina, the son of William Gaston Means, an attorney, and Corallie Bullock. Means grew up in Concord, North Carolina, in a family that had lost most of its considerable wealth during the Civil War. He left the University of North Carolina in 1900, early in his third year, and served for two years as the superintendent of the elementary schools in Stanly County, adjacent to Concord. In 1902 he took a job as a salesman for the Cannon textile mills, living in New York City and traveling widely....

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Ness, Eliot (19 April 1903–16 May 1957), law enforcement agent, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Norwegian immigrants Peter Ness, a baker, and Emma Ness (maiden name unknown). His hardworking parents having instilled in him a solid work ethic, Ness graduated from high school with excellent grades. After briefly working at an automobile plant and a real estate office, he enrolled in the University of Chicago, taking courses in business and political science. In 1925 he received his bachelor's degree in business administration....

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O’Neill, Buckey (02 February 1860–01 July 1898), lawman, newspaper editor, and soldier, was born William Owen O’Neill, probably in St. Louis, Missouri, although his birth record is lost, and he gave variously St. Louis and Ireland as his birthplace. He was the son of Irish immigrant parents, John Owen O’Neill and Mary McMenimin, and was raised in Washington, D.C., where his father, disabled from wounds he received during the Civil War, worked for the Treasury Department....

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Siringo, Charles Angelo (07 February 1855–18 October 1928), cowboy, detective, and author, was born on Matagorda Peninsula, in Texas, the son of an Italian immigrant (first name unavailable) and Irish-born Bridgit White, farmers. His mother was widowed in 1856, married a drunkard named Carrier in 1868, lived with and then without him in Lebanon, Illinois, and next moved to St. Louis. Siringo had no schooling during the Civil War years in Texas, became a cowboy at age eleven, ran cattle for an employer named Faldien, worked at odd jobs in Lebanon (1868–1869), and was a bellhop for a year in a St. Louis hotel. After a fight with another employee he made his way to New Orleans, where he was befriended by a childless couple who sent him to school until a near-fatal knife fight, which he won, caused him to decamp for Texas in 1871....