At the Long Branch Saloon, Bat spent many nights gambling with poker pals Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp and Luke short. In 1880, Bat was living with nineteen-year old Annie Ladue and was no longer sheriff. He then followed Wyatt Earp, the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday to Tombstone, Arizona. After a brief stay, in April 1881 he traveled back to Dodge City in response to his younger brother, Jim, Dodge's Marshal and co-owner of a dancehall. Jim had got into a scrape with his partner A.J. Peacock, and the man they employed as bartender, Al Updegraph. Bat arrived by train at noon on April 16.
Fighting his brother's battle, Bat was in a gunfight with Updegraph. An unknown man shot Updegraph from behind, the shot possibly coming from inside the saloon. Bat was fined eight dollars for shooting his pistol in the street, and then rode the evening train out of town. This would be his last gunfight, at the age of 27.
Had he stayed in Tombstone, perhaps Bat would have helped shoot it out at the O.K. Corralwith the Earps and Clantons.
But that was not part of his destiny...
For the next two years, Bat roamed the West, until returning to Dodge in 1883 when pal Luke Short needed his help in the "Dodge City War."
In the 1890's Masterson ran a fargo layout in the Arcade in Denver and also worked as a sports editor. As the years passed, he drank heavily and was later asked to leave Denver. As the 1900's rolled around, he moved to New York City , where he took a job as a newspaperman, working as a sports writer for the New York Morning Telegraph. In 1907, the Wild West was revisited through his experiences when he wrote a series of columns for Human Life magazine. Some of his recounts included Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday.
On the morning of October 25, 1921, Bat Masterson sat behind his newspaper desk, picked up his ink pen and wrote these words, "There are those who argue that everything breaks even in this dump of a world of ours. I suppose these ginks who argue that way hold that because the rich man gets ice in the summer and the poor man gets it in the winter things are breaking even for both. Maybe so, but I'll swear that I can't see it that way..." These would be the last words he wrote. Bat died of a heart attack at his desk.
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Bat Masterson, Lawman
By Lady Belle
Bartholomew Masterson was born in November 1853, in Quebec, Canada. He later changed his name to William Barkley Masterson, and was nicknamed "Bat" most of his life. Though legend has Bat credited with some 27 killings, in actual truth the total was closer to one or two notches on his gun.
Bat Masterson was a buffalo hunter, gambler, lawman and gunfighter. In 1872, at the age of nineteen, he first met Wyatt Earp while both men were hunting buffalo on the Salt Fork of the Arkansas. They soon parted, not meeting up again until 1876.
During the 1870's, Masterson drifted through Colorado, Kansas, Texas, Arizona and other locations. In 1876, he was caught up in a fight over a dance hall girl, killing a military officer named King, and was wounded badly in the leg in the process.
My 2 Cents RIDIN BACK TO WAY BACK WHEN...ENJOY THE RIDE... -Est. 2000
In the summer of 1876, after leaving Sweetwater, Texas, Bat drifted north to Dodge City where his brother George was bartender of the premier dance hall and gambling palace, Varieties. Bat soon took on a position working as a deputy under Marshal Wyatt Earp and patrolled Front Street with a walking stick for several weeks. He left in July of that same year to follow the gold rush to Deadwood, but got no further than Cheyenne, Wyoming where he worked as a fargo banker.
George Masterson, Varieties Dance Hall & Gambling Palace, 1878, Dodge City
Not staying long, Masterson returned to Dodge for the cattle season of 1877. He bought an interest in the Lone Star Dance Hall and in November 1877, Bat was elected sheriff and took office in January. He had been sheriff less than a month when a six-man gang of outlaws held up a train in the next county. Although the felony was outside of his jurisdiction, Bat led a posse that captured two of the robbers without firing a shot, and not long afterward Bat, his brother Ed, and his deputy captured two more of the robbers near Dodge, again without a fight. In April, when a pair of good-fer-nothing drunks killed his brother Ed, then Dodge's marshal, Bat is said to have shot them both, killing one.
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