Old West Gunfighters Pictures: 5 Deadly Gunfighters of the Old West
5 Deadly Gunfighters of the Old West

5 Deadly Gunfighters of the Old West

Matthew - March 9, 2017

5 Deadly Gunfighters of the Old West

William Brocius

Known as “Curly Bill,” William Brocius was born sometime around 1841. His exact birth date and place of birth are a mystery. Brocius ended up in Arizona in the late 1870s and immediately became known as one of the most feared killers in the territory. He had a short temper and was the type of outlaw most men go out of their way to avoid. Brocius was a member of an outlaw group known as the Cochise County Cowboys.

Brocius became involved in a rivalry with the most well-known lawman in the Old West; Wyatt Earp. In 1880, a drunken Curly Bill was accosted by the Town Marshal of Tombstone, Arizona, Fred White. During a struggle over Brocius’ gun, White was shot in the groin. Wyatt Earp was on the scene, and he pistol-whipped Brocius and arrested him. Fred White died of his injury two days later, but Brocius was ultimately acquitted of the murder. This would not be the last time Brocius had a run-in with a member of the Earp family.

Like many of his Old West contemporaries, Brocius had a tendency to shoot men while drinking and playing cards. This behavior led to Curly Bill shooting several men during the 1880s. He also shot men during robberies. In March 1882, Brocius ambushed and murdered Morgan Earp, Wyatt’s brother, while Earp played billiards.

Only six days after Morgan Earp’s death, Wyatt Earp and a posse happened upon Brocius and some of his criminal partners near Iron Springs, Arizona. A shootout ensued and Wyatt Earp killed Brocius with a shotgun blast.

5 Deadly Gunfighters of the Old West

Dan Bogan

Like many of his fellow Old West gunfighters, Dan Bogan was raised in Texas. He was born in Alabama in 1860 and relocated to Texas with his family as a young boy. Bogan learned the outlaw life from his older brothers, who stole cattle and horses. One of his brothers was shot and killed and the other was sent to prison for theft.

Bogan worked as a cowboy in the Texas panhandle. During a wage dispute, Bogan distinguished himself as a leader, but unfortunately, his actions resulted in him and his fellow cowboys being blacklisted. Work was hard to find for a cowboy with a bad reputation in Texas, so Bogan headed to Wyoming looking for work. He was rumored to have killed three men by the time he left Texas.

Bogan had several scrapes with the law in Wyoming and was known as a hell-raiser, but it wasn’t until January 1887 that he stepped over the line. On that date, he murdered Constable Charles Gunn, a former Texas Ranger.

Bogan was tried and sentenced to death for the murder of Gunn. In October 1887, he made a daring escape from jail. A bounty of $1,000 was placed on Dan Bogan’s head. Bogan made his way toward Utah, with men hot on his trail. A massive manhunt did not turn up the fugitive. Dan Bogan, the wily gunfighter, escaped and disappeared into thin air. Many rumors swirled about what became of Bogan. His last known correspondence was a letter from New Orleans. In it, Bogan told a friend that he was heading for South America, to live out his life in Argentina.

Rumors as to his fate include being killed in a gunfight in Mexico, and that he settled down in New Mexico under an assumed name. Dan Bogan’s whereabouts after his escape in 1887 remain an Old West mystery.


Sources For Further Reading:

History Collection – Remarkable Old Photographs from the Wild West Will Surprise You

History Collection – The Lawmen and Outlaws Who Built the Old West

List Verse – 10 Wild West Shoot-Outs That Made Gunslingers Famous

History Collection – The Notorious Men of the Wild West

History Collection – Photos Documenting the Settling of the Wild West

Grunge – These Wild West Outlaws Were Never Brought to Justice