"Texas, by God"
and the
On this day 1878
Fri Sep 15, 2017 17:08

Relief Fund for the yellow fever sufferers of the South was national news. Ultimately the Mississippi Valley would experience about 20,000 deaths.
Montana Territory with a current population of only 13 or 14 thousand, raised $18,000 in ten days. Of this Butte gave a large portion. Frontier gambling fraternities always being known for charity and generosity to the downtrodden, this situation was no exception.
Morgan and Lou Earp were both known for charity. Charley Storms had relatives in New Orleans. His immediate family in New York had their connections through the Taylor family, Vallat, and others. As the leading gambling house at Butte, King & Lowery's raised $1630 in one hour! No doubt a nice portion of this came from C. S. Storms and his Keno partner "Dublin." Several faro dealers in this sporting house opened the drawers at their tables and "gave up the last cent they had, "bank-roll" and all."

One incident in connection with raising money was worthy of mention in regards gambler "Fat Jack" Jones, who was virtually the town mascot. Not to be outdone by Storms, Lyons, King & Lowery and so many other sports, "Fat Jack" wanted to go on record as a contributor by Monday the 16th at the Taylor Troupe benefit:
""Fat Jack"....had been playing out of luck, as the saying is, was anxious to add something to the fund, but did not have a nickel. He tried to borrow, but no one would lend to him, as all wanted to give what they had. At last Jack borrowed a six-shooter and left the house. In a little while he returned and laid down $65, remarking as he picked up the pen to sign his name of the "Roll of Honor," "I ain't had nothing to eat today, but d--m me if I can hold out anything for grub in a case o' this kind. You bet I'm a bird."

Meanwhile a freighter with a lump on his head had gone to the courthouse to file a complaint for being robbed. Since only one man fit the description of "Fat Jack" - six foot one inch, and 125 pounds - it only took till the next day for Marshal Earp to find his culprit and bring him in to Justice Wilcox.

"This is the way "Fat Jack" got the money he added to the relief fund. His trial comes off in November but he will never be convicted, as one and all say, "Though Jack broke the law, he done it for a good cause, and must not suffer. And even the man who was robbed will not appear against him, though he thinks Jack need not have hit him so hard with the pistol. When we are all called upon the judgment bar, will not the page upon which "Fat Jack's" account has been kept, look whiter than that of many a man who never broke the law."

    • My how times have changed - David, Sun Sep 17 15:46
      to be called "Fat Jack" at 125 pounds and 6'1". Ideal body weight at this height calculates to be about 184 lbs - lol. David
      • That "Fat Jack"David, Sun Sep 17 15:49
        seems to have been quite an affable character; somewhat Curly Billish.... David
        • Name was John Codman JonesK.t.K., Sun Sep 17 18:12
          I've never located a photo of him when he was in his prime. This one is close to the end of life.... more
          • For some reasonDavid, Tue Sep 19 14:01
            your link won't work for me Kenny. Would love to see this photo if you have an alternative way to access it. Thanks! David
            • I'll try againK.t.K., Tue Sep 19 17:33
              http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84036256/1921-01-07/ed-1/seq-2/#date1=1789&index=0&rows=20&words=Codman+John+Jones&searchType=basic&sequence=0&state=&date2=1925&proxtext=%22John+Codman+Jones%... more
              • That worked;David, Wed Sep 20 11:26
                thanks Kenny. David
                • Tombstone connectionK.t.K., Wed Sep 20 13:39
                  Depending upon how much you read, the true early history for Fat Jack in Montana was grossly understated. He is on record since 1867. In 1869 Jack moved with his barber tools from Pioneer, 40 miles... more
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