RIP: Dave Potter
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K.t.K.
Evidently some of the Omaha prostitutes
Thu Jun 29, 2017 07:18
2605:6000:8e0b:4f00:5579:24cd:4f46:e204

...trusted Dutcher, and that Allie's colleague Belle specifically called upon him while in jail for self-accused murder. As Captain of Police, Dutcher normally orchestrated the periodic raids in which prostitutes and madams were hauled in and paid their fines. Distance between Omaha and Council bluffs was about 4.6 miles, although to Allie's exact location was closer to four miles, being at the west edge of town next to the Northwestern Depot and stockyards. Since the bridge was not completed till March 1872, crossings were by ferry or private watercraft.

The scary part for me is realizing that H. F. Sills was in Omaha (working in the Union Pacific shops) for three of the same years that Allie was there. She moved to Council Bluffs early in 1871, but over at Omaha the bunko crowd was really settling in by late '71. That's when three-card-monte first made its appearance. Soon, the entire railroad industry was on alert to the prolific robbing of train passengers via three-card-monte whether conducted on the trains or in and around the depots.

In '73 when bunko Johnny Bull and his nasty partner in crime George Mehaffy were in jail for the brutal stabbing of Union Pacific's employee Sam Atwood, Henry Sills was one among literally hundreds or Union Pacific boys standing by in outrage. Atwood had been in the saloons warning potential rail passengers to watch out for the skin games conducted by the numerous bunko men. Just outside one saloon Mehaffy knifed him, almost fatally:

"Last evening the employes of the Union Pacific shops held a meeting for the purpose of forming a vigilance committee. There were several hundred men present. From a reliable party who was at the meeting we learn that in the case young Atwood dies, they intend to have summary vengeance upon the men who are now in jail.....had he died, the vigilance committee...would have proceeded to the jail, and attempted to take Bull and Mehaffy out, to have punished them, as they thought best" [Omaha Daily Bee - July 16, 1873]

My other point being, Henry Sills was thereafter indelibly marked with the names of John Bull and George Mehaffy. He could continue to read about the further exploits of John Bull and other bunko men in the coming two years, whether reading Omaha or Council Bluff newspapers, before they were finally driven off. Therefore to see the name "Verge Earp" published as closely associated with Bull, et al, in 1875, why would Sills not remember that name for six years more, when he arrived in Tombstone to become key witness for the defense in Spicer's court.

Just musing, k

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