"Texas, by God"
and the
Re: Luke Short
Tue Jun 4, 2019 18:13

I fleshed out the Buena Vista story in a biography I compiled on Miles Mix. He was a very close friend of Bat Masterson and a fellow Dodge City alumni. Mix is on the census as Town Marshal at Buena Vista and - as I didn't mention - Bat was there also in April having come from Leadville.
Luke Short is listed as clerk for Murphy & Rumsey Saloon. In looking close it can be seen that Luke has his own room on prem with M. Murphy (50) and Richard M. Rumsey (37), both listed as liquors dealers. Under that circumstance "clerk" carried a much more significance than a grocery clerk. Short was helping run the business, living there, perhaps providing security like he did for Rickabaugh at Tombstone.

After the thieves and bunko men moved into Buena Vista by April 1880, it seems Bat assisted Marshal Mix and his policemen in handling a violent incident emanating out of the "Joint" which was a small building next to the European Hotel. The Leadville account was unable to identify the officers, but said "three or four men, with long-barreled Colts drawn, were seen running towards the spot...."
Three days later on May 4 a Dodge City paper got wind of it:

"A report reached here yesterday from Colorado that Ex-Sheriff W. B. Masterson had made a big commotion up about Buna [sic] Vista by a dexterous use of his revolver. As the report has not been confirmed we can give no particulars."

Before long Mix had moved 25 miles down the valley to Salida, which had the finest train depot, having been appointed Deputy Sheriff, is boss being headquarter at Buena Vista. By 1882 Mix and wife ran their own hotel at Salida, he had his own saloon, with his sheriff's office on prem. As a deputy he represented as Sheriff, being top law-dog in town.
Then came the highly anticipated foot race between Kitterman of Pueblo and Campbell of Leadville in March 1882.
Luke Short came. Supposedly a neutral zone for gamblers, Salida was in fever pitch. Gamblers congregated on Main St., in front of the "Deputy Sheriff's office and the adjoining saloon." By 11 a.m. $7,600 was deposited with Sheriff Mix, as he was referred to. Businessmen from Denver came up on "excursion rates." The local sports backed the Leadville racer, while Luke Short and friends laid thousands on the other guys.....

  • Luke ShortBen Harleman, Tue Jun 4 15:08
    I was aware of his time and arrest in K.C. but don't really know a lot about it. Buena Vista is something I really know very little about. As I recall, he was possibly working/living at/with a grocer ... more
    • Re: Luke Short — K.t.K., Tue Jun 4 18:13
      • Re: Luke ShortAnonymous, Thu Jun 6 21:25
        Boy I sure am glad to get some more insight to the Buena Vista chapter, even if it was a relatively short one. Do you know how long it was that he was there before he headed to K.C.? Great stuff... more
        • Long-barrelled ColtsK.t.K., Sat Jun 8 04:51
          I am assuming Bat was backing the play of new Town Marshal Mix. Although Bat was known to favor a Colts with four or five-inch barrel. My 1880 chronology on Luke Short jumps from June 1st Census at... more
          • Wayne ShortBen Harleman, Sun Jun 9 02:04
            As I mentioned, I noted your dissatisfaction with the Parsons & DeMattos book on Luke Short, I had a couple of small issues with it myself, but I'm curious about Wayne Short's book on Luke. Do you... more
          • K.C. Tombstone, Dodge, DeadwoodBen Harleman, Sun Jun 9 01:28
            Hah, gotta admire the man from Texas! So I knew of Short in Buena Vista, but thought it was a pass through (glad to get that knew info from you) and I knew of his arrest in KC and three days in jail... more
            • Luke at DeadwoodK.t.K., Sun Jun 9 11:27
              According to his own dictation. Luke Short said he moved on from Texas to see "The Black Hills in 1876." In 1877 he left there for Ogallala, Nebraska, knowing it was one of the largest shipping... more
              • Re: Luke at DeadwoodBob Cash, Mon Jun 17 00:07
                Also, I believe that in one of the telegrams from the Webster-Hinkle faction to the governor during the Dodge City War it is pointed out that Luke had no history in the city before arriving in 1881.
                • Re: Luke at DeadwoodBen Harleman, Tue Jun 18 23:40
                  Thanks Bob & Kenny (a week later). It is very interesting as you both point out, that he doesn't even include himself there. Could Luke's presence have been included by Lake, possibly looking to... more
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