Monday, March 11, 2019

March Old West Trivia by Kaye Spencer #WesternFictioneers #trivia #OldWestHistory

Just for fun, here are twenty tidbits of Old West history trivia for the month of March.

March 2, 1836 - Texas Independence Day

March 6, 1836 - Battle of the Alamo

Ballad of the Alamo, Marty Robbins

March 2, 1861 - John Butterfield's Overland Mail Company received a government contract for daily mail service to the west coast.

March 6, 1887 - Southern-Pacific Railroad offered a new one-way, $12 fare from Missouri to California. Price wars soon drove the fare down to $1.

March 7, 1885 - Kansas law made it illegal to drive Texas cattle into the state from March 1 to December 1 in an effort to stop hoof-and-mouth disease epidemic

March 9, 1916 - Revolutionary leader Pancho Villa attacked the border town of Columbus, New Mexico.
Pancho Villa
Unknown, Pancho villa horseback, marked as public domain,
more details on Wikimedia Commons

March 10, 1871 - Construction began on the Denver and Rio Grande Railway

March 11, 1867 - A pony express-type route was established between Helen, Montana Territory and Minneapolis, Minnesota

March 13, 1878 - Fire destroyed part of Abilene, Kansas

March 15, 1881 - Abilene, Texas was officially established by the Texas & Pacific Railroad along with west Texas cattlemen.

March 15, 1883 - Cheyenne, Wyoming: Lillie Langtry (Judge Roy Bean idolized her) played at the Cheyenne Opera House
Lillie Langtry
Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research, As in a Looking-Glass 1887,
marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons
March 16, 1903 - Judge Roy Bean died in Langry, Texas. He was 78. He called himself the "law west of the Pecos".
Judge Phantly Roy Bean, Jr.
Unknown, Phantly Roy Bean, Jr. ,
marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons
March 16, 1874 - In Missouri, Pinkerton Detective Agengy lost two agents in a shoot-out with the Younger Brothers. John Younger died.

March 18, 1880 - Arizona Territory: Southern Pacific Railroad of Arizona and New Mexico was completed to Tucson, which connected to the San Francisco & Pacific Railroad lines

March 18, 1852 - Wells, Fargo & Company was established in response to the California gold rush. Wells Fargo eventually becomes the leading freight and banking company in the west

March 19, 1848 - Born: Wyatt Earp in Monmouth, Illinois
Wyatt Earp (left) with friend John Clum (right) 1900 Nome, Alaska
Unknown, EarpinNome, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons
March 19-1916 - Eight American planes take off in pursuit of Pancho Villa. This became the first United States air-combat mission.

March 20, 1880 - Tucson, Arizona Territory: The first Southern Pacific train arrived in town. The event caused quite a celebration.

March 22, 1886 - Seattle, Washington and Abilene, Kansas get electricity. An Abilene newspaper reporter wrote that he doubted the citizenry had a serious interest in using electric lights.

And a day of venerated observance in my family—

March 22, 1908 - Born: Western writer Louis L'Amour.

Louis L'Amour
By Source, Fair use,
 My top ten favorite Louis L'Amour books are:

1. The Man Called Noon.
2. The Keylock Man
3. How the West was Won
4. Down the Long Hills
5. Last Stand at Papago Wells
6. Conagher
7. The Shadow Riders
8. Sitka
9. Dark Canyon
10. Haunted Mesa

What is your favorite Louis L'Amour story?

Until next time,

Kaye Spencer

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  1. I love western history trivia and this is a great compilation. I love Louis L'Amour's books and my two faves non-westerns are Last of the Breed an amazing story set in the Siberian winter and one about early Britain. I tried to go by the title I thought it was, but it doesn't sound the same as what I remember about early Britain and a warrior queen. Louis has an amazing list of westerns and The Sackett books are my favorites.

    1. Elizabeth,
      Last of the Breed is an intense story, and a good one, too. Are you thinking of his book The Walking Drum? His Sackett books are so good, too.

  2. I also love trivia of all kinds, and western trivia in particular, so thanks for posting this. I really enjoyed it. As far as picking my favorite Louis L'Amour books...that's like picking your favorite child! I will say that I really liked the Sackett books and The Comstock Load. Also The Walking Drum. Also Haunted Mesa. Also Hondo. Also...

  3. Enjoyed the look back. You know Monmouth, Illinois was only about 60 miles north and slighly east of where I grew up.
    Of course the DR&G is huge where I live now.

    As for books, The Walking Drum is historically very accurate, taking place in the 12th century from Brittany, France to Spain and places in between. I also enjoyed your list, but my favorite of his is "Flint" (Smile) Doris

  4. Fascinating stuff, Kaye. I once worked for Louis L'Amour's British publisher, who described Louis as a 'gentleman.' My favourite of his? LAST STAND AT PAPAGO WELLS, just ahead of HONDO.

  5. Kaye, I love trivia too--and I love Marty Robbins--so glad you included The Battle of the Alamo! LOL (One of my favorite songs of his, but can you imagine trying to perform that at concerts? It would have been so tough--Marty had a real vocal range that has been underrated through the years.)

    My favorite Louis L'Amour book is probably Conagher. I used to use it to teach from in my creative writing classes because it just has so many great examples of different writing in it to illustrate so many points--but I just love it because it's such a good story. Loved the Sacketts, but I too just found The Last of the Breed to be such an unusual, well-written story it's always in my top 5 Louis L'Amour lists and I think I have 2 copies of it "in case" one ever got lost...LOL

    My dad was an avid reader but gravitated more toward biographies and history books. In his later years, I told him he should read some Louis L'Amour--just light reading for before bedtime. He loved tv and movie westerns. I brought the Sacketts to him, one by one, as I finished them, and he started reading those and was hooked. I went to the used book store and bought one of everything they had of Louis L'Amour. I took them to him in a big bag and told him to just give them back to me when he was done so I could read them, too. HE WAS THRILLED and he read every one of those books.

  6. So much information captured in one post!