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One-armed Bill Wilson

Replies: 9

Re: One-armed Bill Wilson

Posted: 31 Mar 2012 7:40PM GMT
Classification: Biography
Edited: 3 Apr 2012 12:55PM GMT
I just found this article about Bill Wilson- it was written by one of my cousins in reply to someone else's inquiry.
One-armed Bill Wilson married Emma Sheek. He lost his arm in childhood [there are two legends about it, involving a horse or a combine]. That did not stop him, however. About 1870 he arrived with a crew of cowhands in La Junta CO. His rash younger brother, George, got in a poker game and felt he was being cheated. When sheriff Juan Tafola tried to break up the fracas, George shot him. Those were lawless times after the Civil War, and people had to make "justice" as they saw fit. The cattle team withdrew from LaJunta, riding SLOWLY across a gulch on a log bridge. Bill rode last, keeping an eye on the crowd behind, his rifle slung across the elbow-stump of his left arm.
Bill's life was twice saved by evils--booze & a rattle snake.
About 1869 he was riding point, ahead of the herd & Goodnight, near the Brazos River when a party of Comanches approached. He sent his horse off and hid among the tall canes in the river. The Indians rode through the canebreaks looking for him, but heard a rattlesnake in one patch. Bill knew enough Spansh to hear them say "He won't be in there". But he was. He was sitting cross legged and still among the canes when the rattlesnake crawled into his lap to bask in the sun, perhaps mistaking him for a warm rock. He didn't flinch. After they gave up looking for him he walked back, barefoot and in his long johns, to rejoin the crew. He looked like hell. Goodnight knew all the Wilson boys, but considered Bill the best of the lot. That was probably why Bill married Goodnight's step daughter.
In October 1871 Bill was with his crew & carloads of cattle in the Chicago stockyards. The men got so drunk that no hotel would put them up, so they slept with the cattle. Good thing, because the city burned that night, but not the stockyards. Bill retired in Lawton OK, and died about 1921. I'm fuzzy about dates.
Bill's dad, J.R., was described by Lucille in a Jack County history as "unassuming, without ambition beyond success in his business ventures, [a man who] aided Democracy in politics and served in the Home guard during the Secession War."

SubjectAuthorDate Posted
Jim Peters 24 Apr 2001 12:00PM GMT 
pacon4927 9 Apr 2011 11:40PM GMT 
MRINKER186 18 Mar 2012 11:08PM GMT 
pacon4927 31 Mar 2012 5:37AM GMT 
MRINKER186 1 Apr 2012 1:25AM GMT 
MRINKER186 1 Apr 2012 1:40AM GMT 
pacon4927 29 Apr 2012 1:42AM GMT 
Christeson_Mi... 14 Dec 2012 6:56PM GMT 
pacon4927 14 Dec 2012 7:56PM GMT 
Christeson_Mi... 14 Dec 2012 8:19PM GMT 
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