The Wild West has become an almost mythological period of time in American history. Life on the Frontier has been romanticized time and again in motion pictures. From the John Wayne and Clint Eastwood epics of yesteryear to modern films like The Hateful 8 and The Revenant, the genre continues to persist to this day. With that being said, fiction rarely can capture the incredible nature of reality. In order to give you a front-row seat of the old West, we are going to explore 38 incredibly rare, completely authentic photos from the Wild, Wild West.
Meet Goldie Griffith
Goldie Griffith belonged to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, so you know that she was someone important. Griffith became a star during her heyday as a bronco rider, boxer, wrestler, and all-around good old cowboy. Griffith was known for being a little bit out there, and she even road from San Francisco to New York on a wager! Griffith would transcend into true star status when she was married inside of Madison Square Garden. What a life, right?
Quick Shootin’ Texas Jack
John Wilson Vermillion was known simply as Texas Jack during his heyday. As part of Wyatt Earp’s band of outlaws, Texas Jack created a reputation for himself as a quick shooting and dangerous gunslinger. In fact, Vermillion once shot the eye out of the back of a man’s head. For a period of time, Texas Jack was also known as ‘Shoot Your Eye Out Vermillion’.
Notorious Jesse James
If there was one man that you didn’t want to cross in the Old West, it was Jesse James. James is one of the most famous American outlaws of all time. Known as a gang leader, train robber, and bank heist guru, James would terrorize the Old West with his former Confederate buddies. While James has been heavily romanticized in Hollywood, make no mistake, this is one bad dude.
Phoebe Ann Oakley
Annie Oakley certainly has a ring to it, doesn’t it? Annie Oakley is another one of the most famous figures from the Wild West. Oakley became famous when she was just 15-years-old thanks to her incredible sharpshoot capabilities. Oakley had grown up poor and, as a result, had to learn how to trap, shoot, and hunt all on her own.
Mystery of Olive Oatman
Olive Oatman and her family were traveling through what is now known as Arizona when they were ambushed by a group of Native Americans. Oatman’s parents were killed but she would survive, along with her sister. Olive and her sibling were sold into slavery to the Mohave people. Her sister would die of starvation but Olive would survive, eventually getting tattooed with her infamous blue face tattoo.
Buffalo Bill and the Grass Dancers
Buffalo Bill certainly was a showman during his time. During Buffalo Bill’s heyday, he incorporated a pair of Native Americans into his show. Elk and Black Elk would travel with Buffalo Bill under the title of Grass Dancer. They would showcase their dancing skills for the amusement of Bill’s adoring crowd. This picture shows Buffalo Bill with his famous Grass Dancers in the background.
When Santiago McKinn was only 11-years-old, he was kidnapped from his home in Mimb res Valley, New Mexico. Santiago and his brother, Martin, had been hiking around their home when a number of Chiricahua Apache approached the kids. The Apache, led by Geronimo, would kill Martin before abducting Santiago. Santiago would grow up with the Apache before being rescued by General George Crook. Santiago refused to leave with Crook, however, preferring to stay with the Apache.
The Wild West Show
Finding genuine entertainment back then was probably pretty hard, what with staying busy just trying to live. So, when Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show came to town, everybody made sure to show up for the proceedings. There were many Wild West Shows during the time and they typically consisted of variety acts related to the Frontier. These shows were pivotal in romanticizing the Frontier.
Survivor of Little Big Horn
The fall of Custer and the battle of Little Bighorn was a pivotal moment for the Frontier. When it happened, there was only a single survivor of the atrocity, a Native American named Curly. Curly was a scout for Custer but he was away from the battle when the fighting began. Curly would survive until 1923 as a semi-famous figure. Curly didn’t speak any English and he could only communicate via sign language.
Tough Rose Dunn
Rose Dunn was an almost mythical figure during the Wild West. At the age of 14, Rose of the Cimarron, as she was sometimes known, would become involved with George ‘Bittercreek’ Newcomb. The two would begin dating and Dunn would quickly be welcomed into the gang. After Bittercreek’s gang went into hiding, they tried to reconnect with Rose. When they did, Rose and her brothers shot the outlaws and turned them in for cash.
Traveling Through Death Valley
If you’ve never been to Death Valley, you really can’t understand how bad the heat is. Nowadays, we have the benefit of motor vehicles and air conditioning, but that wasn’t the case back in the 1800s. This photo captures a 20-mule team of wagons traveling across the Great Basin Desert in search of a railroad. Can you imagine the staggering heat?
Brothels, Outlaws, and the Wild West. Could any three concepts better sum up the Wild West? Here we see Fannie Porter, a former prostitute who ended up establishing her own brothel in San Antonio. She was famous for servicing outlaws and gang members without turning them into the proper authorities. Among her most famous repeat clients were people like Butch Cassidy and Kid Curry.
Professional Security Detail
This photo was captured on the borders of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Taken around 1900, this image shows us how dangerous the Wild West truly was. If you wanted to travel between two places, you either had to know how to defend yourself or you needed to hire someone who could. You also had to trust that your security wouldn’t turn on you out in the middle of nowhere.
Infamous Charley Nebo
Charley Nebo was born in 1842 to a Canadian mother and an English father. He lived throughout the Frontier, settling at times in New Mexico, Nebraska, and Texas. Nebo was an esteemed soldier in the Union Army during the height of the Civil War, however, he would end up being honorably discharged after being injured. Nebo became a stockman after working for John Chisum. He’d become friends with Billie the Kid.
Queen of the Bandits
If you want to make a movie about the West, consider focusing on Belle Starr. Belle Starr was known as the Bandit Queen during the height of her prowess in the Old West. She was attached to a number of high-profile outlaws including Cole Younger, Jim Reed, and Sam Starr.
Enjoying a Drink and Cards
While the Frontier was typically a place of struggle, that didn’t mean that cowboys couldn’t take time to relax. This image shows a saloon in Northern Texas around 1907. The image shows a group of cowboys enjoying a drink, some gambling, and a little bit of conversation. Just look at the variety of characters in this image as well as the details in the background. Truly amazing.
Black Elk and Elk
Here is a close-up image of Black Elk and Elk, two survivors of the Battle of Little Big Horn and Wounded Knee. After finishing their fighting days, Elk and Black Elk would go on to join Buffalo Bill in his Wild West Show under the guise of Grass Dancers. They were known, rather ignorantly, as ‘Show Indians’.
The Old Saloon
This saloon was owned and operated by Bob Leavitt. Located in Jordan, Montana, in the 1900s, this building served as a beacon of hope, relaxation, and comfort for traveling cowboys. At the time, saloons were THE place to be for entertainment and luxury. Just imagine traveling for miles without seeing a soul, and then seeing one of these buildings on the horizon.
Bloody Bill Anderson
With a name like ‘Bloody’ Bill Anderson, you know that this dude meant business. Bill Anderson created a name for himself during the Civil War as one of the most bloodthirsty Confederate leaders in the war. Anderson traveled with this photograph of himself in his pocket. After he was killed in 1864, a Union Soldier would recover the picture.
Cowboys were integral to the success of life in the Frontier. Typically comprised of white men, there were also subsets of cowboys that came from African American, Native American, and Mexican heritage. Cowboys were known primarily as livestock herders, but they also had survival skills that could keep them alive in many gnarly situations.
Canyon de Chelly
This image looks like it was pulled straight from a Kurasawa film. Instead, we are looking at a 1904 picture of the Canyon de Chelly, located in Arizona. This photograph was taken by Edward Curtis and it shows a group of Navajo riders working their way across the canyon. If you look closely, you can see a dog trailing their horses.
Digging for Gold
The Wild West wouldn’t be the Wild West without the concept of mining. The gold rush would be responsible for cropping up countless establishments throughout the West, including this mine located in Virginia City, Nevada. There were two major mines in this city, the Gould and Curry mine, and the Savage mine.
An Upscale Saloon
Can you imagine what these walls saw during their heyday? Saloons during the 1800s were absolutely pivotal to the successful growth of settlements into full-fledged towns. As a matter of fact, you weren’t really considered a town until you had a bank, a brothel, a saloon, and a store. We’re sure that this ‘upscale saloon’ had seen better days by the time of this photograph.
Charles Siringo wrote extensively on the role that the Pinkertons had played in the formation of the West in his book, ‘A Cowboy Detective’. This photograph shows Siringo, on the right, alongside W.B. Sayers. When this photograph was taken, the two Pinkertons were in hot pursuit of the Wild Bunch.
Maiman was a Native American member of the Mojave tribe. This photo shows Maiman at some point in the 1870s when he worked as a trail guide and interpreter for white travelers in the area. Maiman would become a frequent partner of the famous Old West photography, Timothy O’Sullivan. O’Sullivan refused to photograph Native Americans unless they were in their comfort zone, as he refused to use a studio for his images.
Quanah Parker was the son of Cynthia Ann Parker, a white woman who had been taken captive by the Comanche. Quanah would lead Comanche warriors in fights against buffalo hunters. At the time, Western settlers were trying to cut off Native American food supplies by hunting buffalo to extinction. Quanah would pass away in 1911 as a revered member of his tribe.
Billy the Kid
Born with the name Henry McCarty, this picture is probably more well known for being a photograph of Billy the Kid. McCarty is one of the most famous outlaws to ever put boots down in the Old West. Kid was a skilled gunfighter who racked up an unbelievable number of kills before dying at the age of 21 in a shootout with Sheriff Pat Garrett.
While life on the Frontier was no doubt a dirty affair, cattle drivers still liked to be as clean as possible. Most of the times, cowboys would wait until the end of their trail before taking a bath and heading into town for their celebration. This image shows a group of cattle drivers cleaning off in a small river.
General Custer in Dakota Territory
This incredible image shows General Custer leading his men across the plains of North and South Dakota. General Custer, at the time, was leading his men through the Dakota Territory when he was captured by photographer W.H. Illingworth. Illingworth became a frequent companion of Custer during the 60s and 70s.
Final Image of General Custer
This is the last photograph taken of General George Armstrong Custer before he died in the Battle of Little Big Horn. While Custer is most well-known for his failings at Little Big Horn, he was actually a decorated soldier who was widely respected by both his peers and his betters. Custer would even save a confederate soldier during battle, a man he had trained with at West Point, because he respected the man.
This amazing photograph shows Wyatt Earp in 1887. Earp is one of the more well-known figures of his time. Earp was good friends with Doc Holliday, a skilled gambler, and a Deputy Sheriff in Arizona. Earp would be most famous for his skills at the shootout at the O.K. Corral. Earp would famously kill three cowboys during the battle before eventually passing away in 1929.
If you know who this man is, you might be the only one. This incredible photograph showcases a dashing daguerreotype of an unknown figure in the American West. Was he a scout? A ranger? A rider for the Pony Express? Whoever he was, he sure managed to get a killer portrait, so he must have had something going for him.
Navajoes at Fort Defiance
In this stunning photograph, taken by Timothy O’Sullivan, we see a group of Navajo Indians at their home outside of the old Fort Defiance in New Mexico. This image was captured and printed in 1873. If you look closely, you can see why the Navajoes were widely considered to be one of the wealthiest tribes in the country.
Here we see Geronimo kneeling on the ground with a rifle clutched in his hands. This cabinet card was created in 1884 and it was taken while Geronimo was at the San Carlos Reservation, located in Arizona. This image is considered to be the first known photo ever captured of Geronimo.
Esteemed Doc Holliday
Doc Holliday was one of the most famous gunfighters of his time. Close friends with Wyatt Earp, Holliday would play his part at the shootout at the O.K. Corral. Earp was a prolific gambler, a drunk, and a dentist! Holliday would succumb to tuberculosis before passing away alone in his bed, with his boots on of course.
Old Mission Church
This photograph looks so cinematic that we half expect a young Clint Eastwood to come strolling into the frame. This image captures the Old Mission Church located in New Mexico. This church was built in 1630 during the era of Spanish Colonization. This building still exists today where it has become an important historical monument and popular tourist destination.
Rufus Buck Gang
Here we see Rufus Buck and the rest of his gang. The Rufus Buck Gang would end up being hanged in Fort Smith, Arkansas. While these men looked young, they were certainly not innocent. The Rufus Ruck Gang would end up being executed for rape on July 1st, 1896. To this day, this is the largest mass execution for the crime of rape in American history.
Let’s close out our tour of the Old West by taking a look at the Sioux Nation. As one of the largest tribes to ever live on the Great Plains, they certainly cut a fascinating figure when captured on camera. As nomadic tribes, the Sioux were always on the move as they hunted bison throughout the plains. This image was probably taken in the Dakota Territory.
Parents Leave Their Daughters Home Alone to Watch The House, Return to a Jaw-Dropping Surprise!
If you’ve paid even a lick of attention to Hollywood during your life, you’ll know that kids at home alone are prone to throw a party. At least, that’s what the movies tell us, right? When Karen and Chip Schoonover decided to take a much-needed vacation, they opted to risk their home turning into the set of Party X by letting their daughters watch the property. While they enjoyed their vacation, their daughters got busy creating the surprise of a lifetime. Are you ready to hear how four daughters change their parent’s lives forever?
Did You Know That A Dog Owner Is More Likely To Kiss Their Pet Than Their Partner?
Those who have dogs tend to truly love their pets. There is nothing that they won’t do for them. While most of us already know this, there is something to be said for having the necessary facts to back up these suspicions. As it turns out, dog owners may love their pets even more than we initially thought. A recent survey has turned up some rather interesting findings.
Riley’s Organics is the dog treat company that is responsible for this survey. We cannot get over these results. According to the results, 52 percent of those who responded said that they kiss their dogs more often than their partners. We imagine that there are more than a few jealous significant others out there.
We did not realize that there were so many people out there who did not mind being covered with doggy germs. That is real love right there! However, there are those who will try to claim that there are certain benefits to these kisses. Those who own dogs will often find themselves getting sick less often than those who do not.
That is because they are exposing themselves to the type of germs that are designed to keep them safe. Our dogs already do so much for us and now they are actively keeping us from getting sick. Is there anything that these dogs can’t do? This survey also shows that there is a wide range of people who would rather share their bed with their dog, as opposed to their partner.
This is actually somewhat understandable. At least a dog is not going to spend the whole night snoring or hogging all of the covers. There are also studies that speak to the benefits of sharing a bed with your dog. Many pet owners report that they are more likely to get a better night of sleep when their dogs are sleeping close by.
Dogs are more than willing to offer their unconditional love at all times. They do not need very much prompting, either. Anyone who has ever seen how a dog behaves when their owner comes home after a long day will definitely agree. The way that they lavish affection on their humans is a sight to behold. If you are anything like us, you probably agree with the results of these surveys as well.
A whopping 94 percent of the survey’s respondents said that they consider their four legged friends to be their best pals. The health benefits that dogs have to offer go further than just their kisses and their ability to keep you warm at night, though. Your dogs are also going to need to be walked on a consistent basis. This allows their owners to get some much needed exercise and stay in shape.
Is there anything that dogs can’t do? They are able to provide us with their undying love and affection. They even help us to get fit. No wonder so many people love to give them lots of hugs and kisses. We are right there with them! If you found the results of this survey as humorous as we did, you are definitely going to want to pass this story along to your closest friends and loved ones.
To be quite honest, we do not deserve dogs. They are so kind and thoughtful. They do not ask for anything in return, either. All they need is a little bit of love, a warm place to sleep and some food in their bellies. If only the rest of us could learn to be as appreciative as our dogs can be. The world would most definitely be a much better place….that is for sure!
7-Year-Old Uses Illness to Promote Cancer Awareness
It happens quite often that children end up on the business side of the media in order to promote a cause whether it’s political or otherwise, and whether or not the child actually wants the attention. But this is not the case with Emerson Hoogendoorn who has chosen to use her story as a child diagnosed with a normally deadly form of cancer to promote the cause of finding a cure.
One would expect that just about anyone diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor would resign his or her self to living out their remaining days in the comfort of entertainment, family, friends, and massive doses of painkillers. But Emerson has decided that she wants to raise awareness and more. She has also begun raising money entirely on her own by becoming a small business owner, working tirelessly to make her business a success, and using the money she earns to promote cancer research as well as to donate to the cause.
She sells bracelets, cookies, lemonade, wind chimes, and just about anything else she can market online. She makes most of what she sells herself, adding to the appeal of her online shop. She was first taken to see her family doctor when she started experiencing double vision, severe headaches, and nausea. Soon, she was diagnosed with a deadly form of cancer that was eating away at her young brain.
However, she has since been taking an experimental medication, and since that treatment began, when Emerson was first given her deadly diagnosis- her tumor has shrunk to an amazing 12% of the size it was originally at when it was first discovered in an x-ray. That is an unprecedented result. Not only is Emerson giving hope to other children with similar cancer conditions with her generous endeavors, but she is also giving them hope with her continually improving prognosis!
In addition to this, her case is giving invaluable data to researchers who will be looking for ways to use the treatments which seem to be working for Emerson on other children.
According to Cancer.org, as many as 11,000 children in the United States are anticipated to have been diagnosed with cancer before the end of this year. These are children under the age of 15, who have barely had a chance to experience life and the fullness of their own potential.
Due to major advances in cancer treatment, as many as 80% of these children will survive their fight with the dreaded disease. In the 1970s, the survival rate for children with cancer was roughly 58%. The progress has been substantial, and researchers are always doing their best to push those numbers forward another fraction of a percent. It is due to thousands of professionals working diligently largely on donated funds that the science and practice of cancer treatment become gradually more effective over long periods of time.
With the help, the critical data, and the inspiration provided by brave and wonderful young people like Emerson Hoogendoorn, it is possible that even those numbers can be further improved.
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