Bill Tilghman and the Original Wild Bunch

Roger Collins Rule

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Bill Tilghman, as a Wild West lawman, was the most underrated in history but not by his peers. Bat Masterson said, “Of all of us, he was the best.” Bat included Wyatt Earp, himself, and other famous lawmen. From the long-lasting TV show, Gunsmoke, Matt Dillon was the personification of Tilghman, the Dodge City marshal. After appointed US marshal, he was mainly responsible for the demise of the notorious original Wild Bunch (not the hole-in-the-wall gang later): Bill Doolin, Billy Dalton, Bill Raidler, Red Buck, Arkansas Tom, Tulsa Jack, Dick West, Dynamite Dick, Charley Peirce, Bitter Creek Newcomb, Little Britches, and Cattle Annie. Tilghman was one of few men that lived during the time that spanned hunting buffalo to stopping narcotics flown in from Mexico. He became the chief of police of Oklahoma City and was elected as one of the first senators of the new state. Happily married to his second wife, Zoe, he was prosperous, owned a Kentucky Derby winner, founded a movie film company, and had a starring role. Even at seventy, he continued his law enforcement, cleaned up the oil boom town of Cromwell, and was killed in action. He was the first lawman to have his casket lie in state in the capitol rotunda with an honor guard. This novel contains actual dates and events.

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