"Texas, by God"
and the
Actually "Tex" was rounded up right away....
Wed May 29, 2019 15:13

...and jailed in Behan's calaboose. His first court examination occurred May 29 by Justice Wallace. Friends from both Tucson and Tombstone had quickly appeared in support of Hooker, and surprisingly Justice Wallace fixed his bail for a murder charge at only $250. Immediately his bail was provided. The Tucson paper even chimed in re-pointing the finger of blame:
"...It is stated by parties at Benson that a great many of the roughs recently run out of Deming have established themselves at the former place, and are pursuing their old tactics of "standing up" travelers and ignoring the constituted authorities."

A. S. "Texas" Hooker was exonerated soon enough. There's a good chance the Earps (or the 'Easterners') went in on his bail in '81 since Hooker had thrown in with them during the gamblers war in 1880. Sloper leader Johnny Tyler had had a dust-up with Hooker inside the Oriental Saloon October 28. Both were arrested by "Buckskin" Frank Leslie who as bartender had just been given official authority to make arrests inside that sporting house. Johnny plead guilty and was fined $10, but "Tex" demanded a jury trial and was found innocent.

Incidentally one of my first major projects back in 2001-2002 was to meticulously research the 'top and bottom' gang and over many years was able to identify the majority members by name, perhaps all of them numbering 16.

The dead man Patrick Shea had been a disciple of leader "Big Ed" and co-leader "Off Wheeler" in Leadville. When practically the entire crooked gambling fraternity had been run out of Leadville (to include Luke Short) Pat Shea left the gang to try is luck at Bodie. After being arrested at Bodie a couple of times Shea rejoined the gang after hearing they had set up shop at Benson.
Its possible that "Bed Billy" Freeman replaced Shea. Morgan Earp had to take care NOT TO GET TOO CLOSE when arresting Freeman at Benson later in July 1881. The "Red" part of his nickname came from the fact he was a professional butcher by trade - needless to say he was certainly dangerous with the long knife.

  • Those "partsDavid, Wed May 29 13:29
    unknown" are always so difficult to find. As a Doc; I just hate it when someone has "parts unknown". David
    • Actually "Tex" was rounded up right away.... — K.t.K., Wed May 29 15:13
      • To TombstoneBen Harleman, Sun Jun 2 11:53
        Is it possible that Hooker fled to Tombstone to submit to arrest where he could be protected by friends and reduce any risk of danger, as opposed to the Benson or Tucson jails where the gang would... more
        • No BenK.t.K., Sun Jun 2 18:46
          I was avoiding telling about Hooker's arrest because not only is it shocking but opens up the whole can of worms about Sheriff Behan being o the take, not only from the Cow-boys but also from "Big... more
      • Luke ShortBen Harleman, Sun Jun 2 11:43
        Was Luke in with the Top & Bottom gang while in Leadville, and then later in with the Earps/Easterners by Tombstone? -Ben
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