It’s Wild Bill Hickok’s Day ….

Wild Bill Hickok – James Butler Hickok – was born on May 27, 1837 in Troy Grove, Illinois.

Famous in movies, films and hundreds of newspaper articles – he is central to the legends of the Old West.

Newspapers serialized his story and pictured him fighting bears, outlaws and Confederate agents. Images by Van Ben.



Newspapers reported the high moments and the low ones – like the time he mistakenly killed a friend – Special Deputy Marshall Mike Williams.
(Aberdeen (SD) American – 10 Jan 1908).


They called him a hero and a coward (Columbus Daily Enquirer – 11 May 1899).


But the real coward was his killer Jack McCall who shot him – in the back – in 1876.

He was shot in the back and killed by Jack McCall in 1876 in Deadwood, SD.
Image by Van Ben Dallas Morning News 27 May 1928.

GenealogyBank has over 3,400 newspapers packed with historical articles about the Old West right up to today. Give it a try right now.

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Written by Thomas Jay Kemp

Thomas Jay Kemp

Thomas Jay Kemp is the Director of Genealogy Products at GenealogyBank. Tom Kemp is an internationally known librarian and archivist – he is the author of over 35 genealogy books and hundreds of articles about genealogy and family history.

He previously served as the Chair of the National Council of Library & Information Associations (Washington, DC) and as Library Director of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

An active genealogist, he has been working on his own family history for 47 years. With the rapidly growing online archives at GenealogyBank – it is a great day for genealogy!

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2 thoughts on “It’s Wild Bill Hickok’s Day ….

  1. I am 5th cousin twice removed from Wild Bill. Once I found out, I understood why I always preferred the chair facing the door! A wonderful and generous relative gave me one of the 300 copies of the Hickok Genealogy, compiled by Charles Nelson Hickok in 1938. Quite the family tree!

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