Hickok, Wild Bill

orig. James Butler Hickok

born May 27, 1837, Troy Grove, Ill., U.S.
died Aug. 2, 1876, Deadwood, Dakota Territory

U.S. frontiersman.

He left home in 1865 to farm in Kansas, where he became involved in the Free State (antislavery) movement. He later served as a constable in Monticello, Kan. While working as a stage driver in 1861, he shot and killed the outlaw Dave McCanles; legends of his marksmanship probably began in the exaggerated accounts of his role in this incident. He was a Union scout and a spy in the American Civil War (1861–65); after the war, he was appointed deputy U.S. marshal (1866–67). His ironhanded rule as sheriff of Hays City (1869–71) and as marshal of Abilene (1871) helped tame these Kansas towns. While seated at a poker table in a saloon, he was shot dead by a drunken stranger, Jack McCall.

Wild Bill Hickok.

Culver Pictures

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▪ American frontiersman
byname of  James Butler Hickok  
born May 27, 1837, Homer [now Troy Grove], Illinois, U.S.
died August 2, 1876, Deadwood, Dakota Territory [now in South Dakota, U.S.]
 American frontiersman, army scout, and lawman, who helped bring order to the frontier West. His reputation as a marksman gave rise to legends and tales about his life.

      As a child in Illinois, Hickok worked on neighbouring farms and helped his father in assisting escaped slaves. He left home in 1856 to farm in Kansas and there became involved in the Free State (antislavery) movement. He later served as a village constable in Monticello, Kansas. While working as a teamster in 1861, he killed Dave McCanles at Rock Creek (Nebraska Territory), and legends about him probably began in the exaggerated tales of his role in this gunfight.

      During the American Civil War Hickok worked for the Union as a teamster, scout, and spy. After the war he was appointed deputy U.S. marshal, and he later became a scout for the army. Hickok is remembered particularly for his services in Kansas as sheriff of Hays City and marshal of Abilene, where his ironhanded rule helped to tame two of the most lawless towns on the frontier. In 1872 Hickok emceed an unsuccessful Wild West show, and in 1873–74 he performed with Buffalo Bill (Cody, William F.)'s theatrical troupe.

      In 1876 Hickok married a widow, Mrs. Agnes Lake Thatcher, née Mersman, but he soon left her (in Cincinnati) to visit the goldfields of the Black Hills in the Dakota Territory. It was there, at a poker table in Nuttall & Mann's No. 10 saloon in Deadwood, that Hickok was shot dead by a drunken stranger, Jack McCall. The cards Hickok was holding—a pair of black aces and a pair of black eights plus an unknown fifth card—became known as the dead man's hand. McCall's motive was never learned; he was tried, convicted of murder, and hanged on March 1, 1877.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • HICKOK, Wild Bill — (1837–1876)    James Butler Hickok was one of the most colorful lawmen in the old West, celebrated in numerous Western films. The real Wild Bill knew how to develop an image and a persona as well as any of the film stars who later played his part …   Westerns in Cinema

  • Hickok, Wild Bill — orig. James Butler Hickok (27 may. 1837, Troy Grove, Ill., EE.UU.–2 ago. 1876, Deadwood, Territorio de Dakota). Colonizador y explorador estadounidense. En 1865 se marchó a Kansas para dedicarse a la agricultura y participó en el movimiento Free… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Wild Bill Hickok — Nombre James Butler Hickok …   Wikipedia Español

  • Wild Bill Hickock — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Wild Bill Hickok Nombre …   Wikipedia Español

  • Wild Bill Hickok — Nom de naissance James Butler Hickok Surnom Wild Bill Naissance 27 mai 1837 Troy Grove (Illino …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Wild Bill Hickock — Wild Bill Hickok Wild Bill Hickok Wild Bill Hickok (Troy Grove, Illinois, 27 mai 1837 Deadwood, Sud Dakota, 2 août 1876), de son vrai nom James Butler Hickok, est une figure emblématique de l Ouest américain. Biographie James Butler Hickok… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Wild Bill — is a nickname most commonly associated with Wild Bill Hickok, which may refer to one of two individuals:* James Butler Wild Bill Hickok (1837 1876), gunfighter and legendary figure of the American West. * William Orville Wild Bill Hickok (1874… …   Wikipedia

  • 'Wild Bill' Hickok — ‘Wild Bill’ Hickok [Wild Bill Hickok] (1837–76) a famous ↑frontiersman in the American ↑Wild West. His real name was James Butler Hickok. He worked as a ↑marshal (= law officer …   Useful english dictionary

  • Wild Bill Hickok — Infobox Person name= Wild Bill Hickok caption= birth name = James Butler Hickok birth date= birth date|1837|5|27|mf=y birth place= Troy Grove, Illinois, U.S. death date= death date and age|1876|8|2|1837|5|27|mf=y death place= Deadwood, Dakota… …   Wikipedia

  • Wild Bill Hickcock — Dieser Artikel beschreibt den Revolverhelden „Wild Bill“ Hickok. Denselben Spitznamen hat auch der Programmierer Bill Stealey. Wild Bill Hickok …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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