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Garrett, Pat (05 June 1850–29 February 1908), sheriff, was born Patrick Floyd Jarvis Garrett in Chambers County, Alabama, the son of John Lumpkin Garrett and Elizabeth Ann Jarvis, farmers. When Garrett was three, his family moved to Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, and operated a small plantation. There he attended a country school. At the age of nineteen he left home for Lancaster County, Texas, before drifting to the buffalo ranges of Texas and New Mexico. In November 1876 Garrett killed Joe Briscoe, a fellow buffalo hunter, during an argument. Nearby Fort Griffin, Texas, authorities declined to prosecute him. Garrett next appeared in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, where he likely worked as a cowboy for ...

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Hickok, Wild Bill (27 May 1837–02 August 1876), western lawman and gambler, was born James Butler Hickok in Homer, Illinois, the son of William Alonzo Hickok and Polly Butler, farmers. As a young man, Hickok spent most of his time working on—and, after the death of his father in 1852, managing—the family farm. The availability of land in newly organized Kansas Territory was enticing to Hickok, and in June 1856 he and his brother Lorenzo moved westward. His mother’s illness soon prompted Lorenzo to return to Homer. Hickok remained, but he did not settle into an agrarian lifestyle. Various events offered other opportunities to him. In the pre–Civil War years, he served in General ...

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Plummer, Henry (1832–10 January 1864), frontier law officer hanged by Montana vigilantes, was born William Henry Plumer near Addison, Maine, the son of Jeremiah Plumer, a sea captain, and Elizabeth Handy. (The surname was spelled with one m by the family and by others; nevertheless, the historical literature cites the name with a second ...