"Texas, by God"
and the
Randolph W. Farmer
More new evidence of Curly Bill's survival
Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:56

Barbour County index (Medicine Lodge, Kansas) March 20, 1895:

"--Woodward News: Sam Nay came to town Tuesday and gave the following account of the shooting of Charley Parker in the northwest part of this county last Monday. Sheriff Lot Ravenscraft, of Clark county, Kansas, accompanied by Curly Bill and Sam Nay, were endeavoring to capture Charley Parker, who is accused of stealing cattle. Parker took shelter in the house of a man named Murphy and the officers surrounded the house and ordered him to surrender. He replied with a shot from his Winchester, which killed Curly Bill's horse. The officers returned fire, and the result is that Parker now lies wounded in the shoulder, though the wound is not considered dangerous."

For background, Woodward County and the town of Woodward lie in Oklahoma on the border of Kansas - an area known as the Cherokee Strip.

Sam Nay was a substantial cattleman, whose father also was a commissioner in Indian Territory. Lot Ravenscraft became a Kansas politician. Both men were real people and were respectable. Curly Bill was working with these two men and is referred to as one of the "officers". Detectives that worked for cattleman's organizations like the Southwestern Cattleraisers Association were considered lawmen.

This incident occurred in mid-march 1895. Just prior to this happening in far north Indian Territory, a man known as "Bill Smith" transported a notorious murderer named Cherokee Bill from jail in Noweta, northern Indian Territory to prison at Ft Smith Arkansas for trial which began February 26, 1895. In my book "CURLY BILL, HORSE THIEF, CATTLE DEALER, MURDERER, LAWMAN: 1858-1909 I note that the one;y known picture of "Bill Smith" with Cherokee Bill shows a strong resemblance to the image from a tintype (in my book) of a man that I believe is Curly Bill.

This put Curly Bill in and around the Cherokee Strip at a time it was a hotspot for crime and criminals. In 1889 Paris, Texas (where William A. Brosius lived at the time) became the site of one of the Federal District Court for Indian Territory. Paris, Texas soon became a base or hangout for bounty hunters, private detectives and Deputy U.S. Marshals. Paris also became a frequent destination for cattlemen who needed the services of such men in Indian Territory.

When William Brosius and his brother, former Hardin Gang member J. B. Brosius bought their livery stable in Paris in 1888, they purchased it from Jim Shanklin, the previous owner. Shanklin was a disgraced former Texas Ranger who had been fired by his superior officer for tipping off the gangs of horse thieves the Rangers were trying to capture. Shanklin was later arrested for the murder of a former sheriff of Wilbarger County but was acquitted.

Shanklin became City Marshal for Paris, Texas and when his term was up in 1895, he was succeeded by William A. Brosius, who was elected by a popular vote of 901 to 1. Curly Bill Brosius became the City Marshal of Paris, Texas officially on April 22, 1895 even though it was written of him later that he had "no previous law enforcement experience."

There must have been a reason that the men of a tough border town like Paris, with many tough guys to choose from, would elect Bill Brosius to replace a guy like Jim Shanklin, who was 6 feet 6 inches tall and heavy-set. Cherokee Bill had murdered a man named Ernest Melton, a popular citizen of Paris, Texas. I believe Curly Bill, who had ridden with Cherokee Bill in Indian Territory when they were younger, was the man for the job of transferring the prisoner for trial at Ft Smith.

While Bill was in northern Indian Territory, he was available for work on behalf of Sam Nay in capturing Charley Parker. This was the background that qualified Curly Bill for the position of City Marshal of Paris, Texas. That and a lot of other things he'd done further west that he really didn't want to talk about.

    • Alias P'Smith and Bockiu'sgobby git, Wed Dec 12 12:46
      RWF ... RB just beat me to that other Smith photograph because of my search ... try as I may, I can only find "former Gang member" J. B. Brosius listed in Hardin's self-serving autobiography, where... more
      • Thanks a million Gob.K.t.K., Wed Dec 12 16:57
        Hopefully I am allowed to assume that "Dr. J. B. Brosius" was older than 12, which will completely cancel out Randy boy's despicable con-game - that of foisting falsehood about him being Curly Bill's ... more
      • Hardin and BrosiusRandolph W. Farmer, Wed Dec 12 13:34
        J B Brosius and his brother Bill Brosius had old family conbectiins to the Hardin family. Their grandfather, J. B. Anderson was more of a father figure to them than their own father, George W.... more
        • Re: Hardin and BrosiusSteve Gatto, Wed Dec 12 14:41
          Didn't Doc Bockius give an interview to a newspaper reporter while in the county jail after being arrested?
          • Re: Hardin and Brosiusgobby git, Thu Dec 13 05:48
            As I still can't figure out Chronicling America ... From the Austin Daily Democratic Statesman of June 16, 1874 "[Prisoner Bockius] graduated from a medical school in Philadelphia. Otherwise, he knew ... more
            • Answer in front of your gobRandolph W. Farmer, Thu Dec 13 08:32
              "He survived the lnching of three of his companions because he was helped by a fellow Mason." J. M. Bockius was innocent, like he said. Hardin identifies J. B. Brosius as the person rescued from the... more
              • Guilt By Associationgobby git, Thu Dec 13 09:47
                RWF ... it would be impertinent for me to disagree with ANYTHING you say ... specifically the Masonic implications and the racial and political aspects inherent in your book ... except for the... more
                • Thanks, but...Randolph W. Farmer, Thu Dec 13 11:47
                  Speaking guilt by association, was J. M. Bockius found guilty of driving stolen cattle for Hardin? Uh, no, he wasn’t. Sometimes the justice system works the way it’s supposed to work. Bockius was... more
                  • Disassociationgobby git, Thu Dec 13 12:43
                    "His detention meant J. B. Brosius got off scot free" I have the book ... this isn't what is said in there ... or anywhere else ... one person, a thirteen year old, one name, J.B. Brosius ... luckily ... more
    • Please tell me you have more than . . .Steve Gatto, Tue Dec 11 11:09
      the information in your post to prove your assertions that this Curly Bill in the 1895 article was Curly Bill Brocius and that he was also William A. Brosius of Paris, Texas. Unless you have more... more
      • Bottom lineRandolph W. Farmer, Tue Dec 11 11:31
        Is that you can’t prove Bill Brosius wasn’t Curly Bill. I’ve listed numerous reasons in the past here, as well as in my book, why the only Bill Brosius or Brocius or Broscius, however you want to... more
        • Re: Bottom lineSteve Gatto, Tue Dec 11 13:58
          The sad irony is that I'll end up either having to prove that William A. Brosius was Curly Bill Brocius or prove that he could not have been Curly Bill Brocius since you're not capable of doing it. I ... more
          • Poor SteveRandolph W. Farmer, Tue Dec 11 15:58
            Steve Gatto: "The sad irony is that I'll end up either having to prove that William A. Brosius was Curly Bill Brocius or prove that he could not have been Curly Bill Brocius...." Why so sad? What... more
            • Well, I all I need to say . . . Steve Gatto, Tue Dec 11 21:06
              about the research that I have done relating to William A. Brosius of Paris, Texas, is that 15 years since the publication of my book on "Curly Bill" in 2003, and after your so-called extensive... more
              • @SteveRandolph W. Farmer, Tue Dec 11 21:09
                And you have a vested interest in an inflexible and unrealistic opinion.
                • Right . . .Steve Gatto, Tue Dec 11 21:45
                  All I'm asking for is some evidence that William A. Brosius is Curly Bill. Hell, he may actually be Curly Bill - the problem is you have not provided any evidence that he was the same man.
                  • Get realRandolph W. Farmer, Tue Dec 11 22:00
                    What you’re saying is you want a signed confession, witnessed and notarized and date and time stamped from William A. Brosius saying he was Curly Bill. You seek to impose perhaps, the standard of... more
    • The fact of Curly Billy escaping death by Wyatt Earp is never the issue with me. I love it. There is no one in the Old West history field who has bad-mouthed, castigated, slandered, and disrespected... more
      • Kenny I think some of these Deputies could have used aliases depending on where they were required to go, and some had shady pasts too. I cannot understand why Sheriff Brosius would, though. The... more
        • Thanks PeterK.t.K., Wed Dec 12 08:08
          I found all kinds of stuff on Chronicling America about William C. Smith as Deputy [U.S.] Marshal. But I will not put up all the links. When reading up on the entire account, there was no need for... more
        • @Peter LoveRandolph W. Farmer, Tue Dec 11 19:54
          I did find an indictment in Indian Territory for “Curly” and “Cherokee Bill” but will concede it could have been a different person than Crawford Goolsby. It was more important to demonstrate that... more
    • Curly Bill's HorseRichard Lapidus, Tue Dec 11 07:32
      If this is the Curly we know from the Tombstone saga, how many horses of his were shot?
  • Click here to receive daily updates