"Texas, by God"
and the
Ellsworth on this day 1873
Thu Aug 8, 2019 10:53

The police force had recently been reduced from five to three, with Ed. Hougue in charge. On August 7 the John Robinson Circus opened for a one-day event, requiring extra security. Hougue submitted several names to the City Council to act as Specials, not recorded for posterity. Pure speculation suggests the group included Wyatt and Morgan Earp, Ed Crawford, Richard Freeborn and J. C. Brown. All were destined for law enforcement, with Wyatt being a former constable. There was not a disturbance all day of the circus.

Morgan Earp is mentioned because Ed Hougue somehow came to observe the propensity for bravery by young Earp, due to the fact at Dodge City two years later, Undersheriff Hougue hired Morgan practically upon his arrival there from St. Louis. If anybody was high on bravery it was Hougue.

Contrary to a negative comment about Hougue's bravery by Ira E. Lloyd, who was 23 at the time, contemporary Ellsworth press disagreed. And perhaps few understood how Hougue was exemplifying the typical courage of a French Fire Zouave the previous month, mentioned in the Ellsworth Reporter July 10th, sans any details:

"We shall never forget the display of bravery in the discharge of his duty, that Ed Hougue performed last Saturday in making an arrest."

In like manner, Morgan Earp displayed the same at Benson in August 1881, when facing off against the whole "top & Bottom" gang in order to make a double arrest from among them. Protégé like mentor.

    • We finally hadDavid, Thu Aug 8 13:54
      a chance to visit Ellsworth and most of the other Kansas Cowtown's (Dodge, Abilene, Wichita, Hays, …) about 5 years ago. In Ellsworth we stumbled upon this great little steakhouse which turned out to ... more
      • If I woulda known!K.t.K., Thu Aug 8 15:32
        Tom Gaumer and I hit Ellsworth on a similar tour of the same cow-towns riding in his PT Cruiser. We were thrilled to contact and interview the leading resident historian, at his home a few short... more
        • Kenny and the Cruisers David, Sat Aug 10 11:46
          I can just envision the two of you tramping about Kansas (chasing Earp history) in Tom’s ol’ PT Cruisermobile - LOL. David
          • By agreement I did all the driving.K.t.K., Sun Aug 11 09:11
            We had parked my truck at Dodge City and began a two-week circuit in the Cruiser, which began at Lamar, Mo. Then up to Lincoln, Neb., then down through the Kansas cow-towns back to Dodge.
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