As “Deadwood Dick,” this Kansan herded stampeding cattle, fought Indians, battled the unpredictable elements of the Kansas prairie and became one of the legendary cowboys of the Old West.
He defied stereotype.
He was an African-American cowboy who was born a slave and taught himself to read and write.
Although many other cowboys shared his nickname, which also was the name of a popular adventure series at the turn of the 20th century, this Dodge City cowboy was the most famous.
He is said to have been able to shoot 14 bullets into the bull’s-eye of a target — all shot from his hip.
His first job as a cowboy was daunting. In his memoirs, he wrote how a trail boss asked him if he knew how to ride a horse. He said he did and was given a horse by the name of “Good Eye” to prove it.
“Bronco Jim gave me a few pointers and told me to look out for the horse was especially bad on pitching. I told Jim I was a good rider and not afraid of him . . . from the time I mounted old Good Eye I knew I had not learned what pitching was. This proved the worst horse to ride I had ever mounted in my life, but I stayed with him and the cowboys were the most surprised outfit you ever saw, as they had taken me for a tenderfoot, pure and simple.”
He hired on with the cowboys and worked out of Arizona and the Texas Panhandle. On July 4, 1876, this Dodge City cowboy earned the nickname “Deadwood Dick” at a rodeo because he won several roping, riding and shooting competitions.
Question: What was his real name?
Answer to Sunday’s question: Moses Harman led the free-thinking movement.
Check Kansas.com Tuesday for the answer to today’s question.